Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the only female candidate contesting for the Speakership position for the incoming National Assembly, has made known her decision to step down leaving the race to the men.

Onyejeocha speaking said she stepped down due to the assurance she got from the All Progressives Congress (APC) that her constituencies would be fully recognized, represented and effectively reintegrated in the incoming federal legislature.

Onyejeocha who has now declared her support for the APC’s preferred candidate, Femi Gbajabiamila, in a statement made available to reporters on Monday night less than 24 hours to the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly revealed much.

Onyejeocha statement reads: “I threw my hat in the ring to improve the legislative framework for inclusive growth and social justice in Nigeria, especially for a marginalised group like poor women and the youth, who have been clamouring for more participation in the Nigerian economy and the state of affairs in recent times.

“It is a common knowledge that I also entered the race on behalf of my zone, the South-east, to address the agitation of exclusion alleged against our party and to equally zonal balancing in first-line leadership arrangement of our country.”

Onyejeocha said she was not ignorant of her party’s stance since the race began but decided to push ahead because of the exclusion the South-east zone and for gender balance.

“I am therefore stepping down with a greater hope based on assurances from my party leaders and colleagues, that in the leadership and management of the House of Representatives in the 9th legislative session, the interest and voice of my constituencies – Southeast and women in Nigeria – will be carried along, fully recognised and effectively reintegrated.

“I have confidence in this assurances and also that my campaign has further sensitised my party to the imperative of inclusion of the Southeast and women in the governance of the country in the next four years,” she said.


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