The wife of a former governor of Yobe State, Khadija Bukar-Abba, says her ambition to become the speaker of the House of Representatives in the ninth assembly has died a natural death.
Mrs Bukar-Abba is returning to the House for the fourth time as the representative of Damaturu, Tarmuwa, Gujba, Gulani Federal Constituency. She said her constituents have been urging her to run for the position.
According to her, she has now opted to contest for the position of Majority Leader of the House. She urged her colleagues to support her.
She made her position known while speaking with journalists at a news briefing in Kaduna on Saturday.
According to the lawmaker, she has, however, decided to opt out of the race because her party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has endorsed Femi Gbajabiamila as the next Speaker of the House.
She said she accepted the decision of the party despite believing that she has all it takes to hold the position.
“We had a dinner with the president and the Chairman of APC pronounced where the party is heading too. So, we as obedient party followers had decided to go with the party.”
Mrs Bukar-Abba is from the same state as Ahmed Lawan who is the APC’s choice for Senate President.
“My party, the APC, has advocated that they wanted Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State to contest the Senate President position and also Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos to contest the speakership position.
“As an obedient party member, if my party needed a favour from me there is no way I will refuse by going against what the party says, because the party has supremacy over any selfish interest.
“That is why my quest for the speakership of the House of Representatives died a natural death,” she said.
She added that the party’s choice is well qualified to be the next speaker.
“I think Femi Gbajabiamila should be the next Speaker because he is the most cognisant out of all the contenders at the moment. He has the records of holding senior positions of leadership within the house since he entered as a member. So, I think the cap fits him very well,”.
On whether the APC would allow the opposition to take part on who becomes the next leader of the National Assembly, she said the beauty of democracy is to have a vibrant opposition to checkmate the ruling party.
“All we want to see is (for) our country to unite and progress. So PDP is welcome to negotiate with APC to form a parliament that will see that the country moves forward,” he said.
On the challenges Nigerian women face in politics, she named finance as the biggest.
“Women find it difficult to get funding to sponsor their campaigns against men. But I think since we tried the men and they failed us, it is about time to believe in the capability of women.
“So far, I will say the men have scored very low compared to what they should ideally score. They should give women a chance and also support them to fund their campaigns.”
She also urged parents to allow their daughters to acquire western education. She called on the House of Representatives to pass all the bills before it on girl child education.
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