High ranking female lawmakers of the 9th National Assembly have dissociated themselves from an online poll, being organized by what they called “a suspicious and manipulative group,” the Nigerian Assembly Newspapers (NASSNEWS).
They claimed that they have been inundated with calls from Nigerians and well-wishers over the “MOST ACTIVE FEMALE LAWMAKER OF THE YEAR” Award online contest, and which they knew nothing about, and that it has become very embarrassing to them.
The National Assembly management and the Press Corp have equally distanced themselves from the event, under the Nigeria Assembly Newspaper Orientation & Awards Ceremony and being organized by the Nigerian Assembly Newspapers (NASSNEWS), while describing it as “inappropriate and unprofessional.”
“NASS management is not involved in any such contest, the person who has been using the National Assembly name under the guise of a publisher of (NASSNews) has been warned by the Director of Information, and appropriate action will soon be taken by the management against those using the name of the National Assembly inappropriately,” said, Dr. Jerry Uhuo, Deputy Director, Research and Information, for the National Assembly management.
The organisers did not state the criteria for arriving at the names of the “Most Active Female Lawmakers of the Year,” listed persons in the online poll, fueling further speculations that the motive behind the award is less than noble.
In a disclaimer, Hon. Nkeiru Onyejeocha, the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives and Member, representing Isuikwato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency, who was leading the poll as at the time of compiling this report, has asked the organisers of the award to discontinue the exercise or have her name removed from the contest.
“Hon. Nkeiru Onyejeocha is a principal officer and high ranking member of the National Assembly and therefore, cannot entertain such an arrangement that is not supported by the relevant professional media bodies and recognized by the National Assembly management.
“We have asked our dynamic and enthusiastic supporters, friends and well-wishers home and abroad, who have shown some relative interest in an online poll in which she is listed along with other female lawmakers as contenders for the “MOST ACTIVE FEMALE LAWMAKER OF THE YEAR” Award, to henceforth disregard, ignore and jettison the contest.
“Notwithstanding the fact that some of our young and passionate supporters have taken it upon themselves to ensure that the image, personality and integrity of the Distinguished lawmaker is defended at all times by participating in the poll, we have since discovered upon a thorough investigation that the contest is a manipulated arrangement designed to scam and extort the listed lawmakers.
“Our findings also reveal that the entire arrangement under the Nigeria Assembly Newspaper Orientation & Awards Ceremony and being organized by the Nigerian Assembly Newspapers (NASSNEWS), is terribly lacking in credibility and has neither the support of the National Assembly Press Corp or recognition of the National Assembly management,” Raphael Dare, a media consultant to the lawmaker said in the disclaimer.
On her part, Senator Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central), in a statement by her Senior Legislative Aide, Dr. Chike Amobi informed the general public that a notice has been sent to the organizers of this contest to kindly remove her name from the list of contestants.
“The general public is hereby advised that Senator Uche Ekwunife is neither participating in, nor soliciting for anyone’s votes in the said contest. She actually just became aware of this contest through social media, and neither volunteered for, nor accepted to be included in the contest,” Ekwunife’s disclaimer added.
The chairperson, House of Reps Press Corps, Mrs. Grace Ike, who has confirmed that the the National Assembly press corps, is on top of the matter and it will soon take an appropriate action against the organisers.
Another journalist who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that most the lawmakers listed selected for the award were not aware, while describing it as “a scam” invented to extort the lawmakers or sow a seed of discontent among them
The source has however advised the National Assembly management to take an immediate decisive action against the organisers of the award, while also tasking members of the press corps to issue a statement, dissociating the body from the suspicious group.
It is also gathered that the female lawmakers from the Northern part of the country, listed in the online contest, Senator Aishatu Dahiru and Hon. Aishatu Dukku would soon be sending a message to the organisers to remove their names from the controversial online poll.