A leading civil society group,Black Africa Re-orientation and Development Organisation ( BARADO) has described as wicked an uncharitable the allegation made by Hon.Benjamin Kalu that Hon.Miriam Onuoha was not qualified to run for any office in the 10th House of Representatives because, according to the Reps Spokesperson,she has spent just a little over two years at the House and has just undergone her first induction programme as a lawmaker.
The group,which spoke to the press today in Abuja said it was unbecoming for the House Spokesperson to misinform the general public merely because he felt that Hon. Princess Miriam Onuoha,a second-time Member like himself, was getting a lot of positive nods from other Members-elect to become the Deputy Speaker of the House when the House elects its new Presiding Officers for the emerging 10th National Assembly early next month,a position Hon.Kalu is said to have been openly supported to emerge by both the ruling APC and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The release read by the President of the group,Comrade Udenze C.Udenze, said:
“Our attention has been drawn to a publication in the online edition of the Leadership Newspaper of Sunday,May 28,2023,which appeared under the headline: _”10th NASS: Onuoha Not Eligible to Contest Speaker or Deputy Speaker Position_ ” allegedly authored by one Igho Oyoyo and purpotedly inspired by a Press Conference claimed to have been held in Abuja by a faceless group that goes by the name and style,”Legislative Watch Unit” of the Civil Society Central Coordinating Council (CSCCC).
“While not holding sway for the affected lawmaker,we would also not have bothered to waste a drop of ink on the tissue of falsehoods and misrepresentations the said piece churned out in its obviously-sponsored attempt to de-market another candidate for the Office of Speaker and to put a wedge in the rising profile of the only woman in the race for a Presiding Officer’s position in the leadership configuration of the entire emerging 10th National Assembly,we are, however,concerned that,if that kind of ill-written and badly researched hogwash published under the paid instigation of a fellow lawmaker ,who calls himself “a brother”,but is, actually,a desperado seeking by all means, fair and foul, to win a Presiding Officer’s position in the House of Representatives ,is allowed to go unchallenged ,chances are that there are some gullible members of society who may be wont to swallow the negative narratives wickedly portrayed in that highly-degrading piece as truths or even half truths!
“For the avoidance of doubt,Rt Hon.Miriam Odinaka Onuoha,Member representing Okigwe / Onuimo and Isiala Mbano(otherwise known as Okigwe North) Federal Constituency and Chairman, Committee on Disabilities of the House of Representatives,by our due diligence, remains a lawmaker who possesses the competence, experience, character,the qualifications,the leadership skills and popularity among her colleagues to aspire to any leadership positions at not only the House of Representatives,but anywhere else across the land. It is, therefore,wicked and uncharitable, to the former Regional Banker and highly experienced and cerebral public and private sector player,to say the least, for anyone to suggest that,”…by the extant House Rules Hon. Miriam Odinaka Onuoha does not qualify to run for any leadership positions in the House of Representatives”.We wonder what ” extant rules” Barr. Anderson Achilike( if he ever exists) and his ill-advised cohorts on this ignoble path of perdition are talking about in their sponsored online piece in the Leadership Newspaper of Sunday,28th May.
“We condemn that piece in its entirety and wish to hastily add that,by virtue of Order 2, Rule 3(a) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, Nigeria ( 9th Edition, Ordered to be Printed 23rd March 2016),which states,inter alia,” A Member-elect, addressing the Clerk,shall propose another Member-elect *with experience* as member of the National Assembly to be Speaker and shall move that such Member-elect,’Do take the Chair as Speaker of the House of Representatives’ ” the Rt.Hon.Miriam Odinaka Onuoha is qualified to run for the position she is seeking at the National Assembly. The aforequoted rule is the Ranking Rule for lawmakers by virtue of which all returning lawmakers qualify to run for the position of Speaker being , usually, referred to as Primus Interperes!( First Among Equals) “.
The group warned all candidates for the National Assembly leadership positions to desist from politics of name-calling and to go about their campaigns with civility and decorum, stressing that, “at the end of all of these campaigns, politics will take the back burner when the real business of lawmaking will start. All mudslinging and invectives may last longer than the intentions of those hurling them around today”.