Onyejeocha, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), made this known on Tuesday despite her party’s endorsement of Gbajabiamila for the position.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Onyejeocha, who represents Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency, explained that she took the decision to run for speakership as a result of the concerns of the people of the south-east region, regarding the distribution of presiding officers’ positions in the National Assembly.
She said her people were worried that an inequitable distribution will create lopsidedness and lead to worsened divides in Nigeria.
Onyejeocha called on her party, APC, to fulfil its promise to Nigerians that it would increase women participation in the governance of the country.
She vowed that if elected as Speaker she would improve the communications with Nigerians, as well as strengthen internal communications and relationships among members of the House.
Onyejeocha also promised to strengthen House Committees and Processes, as well as adopt a Legislative Agenda with a clear framework for compliance and monitoring, among others.
The APC had last week adopted Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the speaker in the 9th assembly.
“I know that the leader of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila, is a good gentleman and good leader but there is a time when any man who is a leader indeed to make needed sacrifice and that time is now for the leader of my party in the House of Representatives,” she said.
“This opportunity comes only once when a leader will look at himself and say, ‘it’s not about me, it’s about Nigeria.’ I also believe that Nigeria needs healing and somebody has to pay the sacrifice for us to move to the next level, even if it means deciding that speakership should go to another zone.”
She also said, “As a woman who has distinguished herself and contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria, the APC should use the opportunity of my expression of interest in the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives to fulfill its promise to Nigerians, that it would increase women participation in the governance of the country.”