Onyejeocha, Ekwunife, NASS dissociate selves from ‘fictitious’ online award poll

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha

Lawmakers of the ninth Assembly has denied involvement in an online award poll.

The female lawmakers described the award as “suspicious and manipulative”

According to the lawmakers, the award process does not also have the support of the National Assembly Press Corp or recognition of the National Assembly management, and cannot be accepted as genuine.

Some female lawmakers of the ninth National Assembly has dissociated themselves from a recent online poll for an award of the “Most Active Female Lawmaker of the Year.”

The lawmakers described the ongoing award process being organised by the Nigerian Assembly Newspapers (NASSNEWS) as “suspicious and manipulative”.

Speaking on the award process, the deputy chief whip of the House of Representatives, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has asked the organisers of the award to discontinue the exercise or have her name removed from the contest.

While Onyejeocha who represents Isuikwato/Umunneochi federal constituency is currently leading on the poll, the lawmaker said she 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,” Raphael Dare, a meida consultant for Onyejeocha said in a statement.

The statement said findings 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.

Dare also said that the award process does not also have the support of the National Assembly Press Corp or recognition of the National Assembly management, and cannot be accepted as genuine.

“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,” Dare added.

Also, Senator Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central), in a statement by her senior legislative aide, Chike Amobi, said a notice has been sent to the organizers of this contest to expunge the lawmaker’s name from the poll.

“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 said.

The chairperson, of the House of Representatives press corps, Grace Ike, said the National Assembly management is currently investigating the matter and it will soon take an appropriate action against the organisers.

It was gathered that most of the lawmakers listed for the award are not aware and have described the process as scam.

It is also gathered that the female lawmakers from the northern part of the country, listed in the online contest, Senator Aishatu Dahiru and Aishatu Dukku are furious about the process.