The House of Assembly member-elect and serving member for Isu LGA in Imo State House of Assembly,Hon.Chief Ngozi Obiefule, is said to be under pressure to join the speakership race for the 9th Imo Assembly.
The Watchdog award winning female lawmaker who was just recently overwhelmingly re-elected by Isu electorate against all odds is said to be weighing the options and embarking on extensive but strategic consultation.
This followed after some women stormed her Owerri residence,recenyly demanding she throws in the hart in the ring.For the women, they believe it is their time for a woman to either emerge Speaker or Deputy Speaker.
Already, there are speculations that there may be no zoning in the speakership position as the “soon-to-become” ruling party,PDP is worried over the loyalty of the House of Assembly-elects in Okigwe and may look else where for the position.
According to a non-returning lawmaker who doesn’t want his name in print, “going by the zoning arrangement, the speakership position ought to come from Okigwe zone. However, some persons are of the opinion that the position has been domiciled in Okigwe for almost 8 years now”. Allowing Okigwe to produce another Speaker will accord them 12 years of uninterrupted tenures, stating that, it is same reason we accused Orlu zone of perpetuating themselves in power in a State where we have three zones, namely; Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri zones”, he averred.
Among groups calling on Obiefule to contest for the plum position include; women and youths who feel that electing Obiefule into such position will be good omen for Imo people,especially the women who over the years feel marginalized in the scheme of things.
Speaking to our reporter, High Chief Maria Nwadialu, President of Imo Women Frontier (IWF),a Non governmental Organization based in Imo called on PDP leaders to integrate women in the affairs of government, stating that Hon Ngozi Obiefule has been a mentor to Imo women and has proven herself in leadership.
She decried the non-inclusion of women in successive governments of Imo except in minor positions.
“Apart from Chief Dr Ikedi Ohakim, who as Executive Governor of Imo State had chosen women as Deputy in all his outings, other Governors never considered us worthy enough to deputize them. Worst still is governor Okorocha’s government where the Governor, Deputy Governor, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, even the Chief Judge and other Heads of establishments are all men”, she stated.
She called on the governor-elect, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha to change the narrative and have 100% support of Imo women who feel aggrieved by this development. She said, “ neighboring state like Anambra has woman as speaker and she has done very well. Only those who see nothing good of women will say otherwise of this demand”, she fumed.