28th April, 2015
A former Deputy Speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly and in-coming fourth term member of the House, Mrs Funmilayo Tejuoso has said that it is time to have a female Speaker in the state assembly.
Tejuoso, one of the strong contenders for the speakership seat, made the remark during an interview with P.M.NEWS Political Platform recently.
According to her, “I think it is time for change. We talk about change as All Progressives Congress and it is time a woman takes position as the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly. I think it is time we support women to excel.
When asked why she wants to be the Speaker of the 8th Assembly, she said, “I think everybody is a potential speaker in this House of Assembly. I believe I have served this House diligently for several years. I believe that I’m qualified and capable to occupy that position.
“I’ve not gone out to lobby to be the speaker. Some of my colleagues in the House have approached me that they will like me to lead them in the next assembly. I believe that what a man can do, a woman can do better and we take it further to say that what a woman cannot do cannot be done.
“By the grace of God, the person that God wants to be Speaker will be. I don’t think it is the the hands or power of anybody to make that decision. It is up to anybody to aspire but God has the final say,” she said.
When asked that being a woman, does she believe she has the capacity to control an assembly dominated by men, she stated that it is not a matter of control but to work together as one to move the state forward.
“I don’t think it is a matter of control but work together to move Lagos State forward. I believe that as a legal practitioner, I’ve worked with a lot of men and I have been able to head my own chamber, Funmi Tejuoso and Co which was doing very well and still remains in existence.
“I want to believe that there is nothing that is extraordinary in a man that a woman doesn’t have, intelligence wise, and I believe that it is not a chore to be a woman in a man’s world but it is for us to appreciate that there is equality now. We even have laws that talk about equality in Nigeria. We have people talking about affirmative action because they appreciate the fact that women have had the short end of the stick for a very long time.
“We must also appreciate that when a woman is given opportunity to lead, we have more to prove. So, we put in extra effort and make sure that we succeed,” she averred.
When asked if she will promote a feminist theory of advantage if she eventually emerged as the speaker, she said, “when I was voted as House of Assembly member, I wasn’t voted only to be a voice for the women. I was voted to be a voice for my constituent and definitely being a speaker, you are expected to be a voice for the people of Lagos State.
“I will continue to be a voice for the women and children. I will continue to be a voice for the people who really do not have a voice. I will continue to be a voice for the men of Lagos because as a legislator, you are there not as a female or male but as a representative of that constituency to bring the dividends of democracy to the people,” she pledged.