The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has expressed disappointment over the manner female delegates sacrificed female politicians for political reasons during in the just concluded primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The first lady, in a statement she personally issued yesterday, said that more states in the country took the voting shape of Ondo’s female delegates and sacrificed their own for fleeting fun.
The statement reads: “Nigerian women defied the scorching sun and thronged the national assembly to demand that 35 percent of the nation’s legislative seats be allotted to women to enable women have more space to contribute to the country’s political affairs.
“It is in favour of this goal that I dropped the toga of a first lady and joined fellow women to press for the all-important increase in parliamentary seats for women at both the state and national levels.
“In the wake, a number of women took up the challenge to contest for legislative elections while banking on the female delegates to do the magic as in the case of Adamawa”
Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who was a senatorial aspirant for Imo East, also bemoaned the manner at which the party conducted its recently held primary election across the country.
“There is a sense in which the APC showed a darling example in its recently held primary election across the country, save for instances of irregularities in few states, including Imo, my state, where government actors made a charade of a process that should ordinarily have deepened democratic practice. Distasteful as the Imo instance is, it is not the thrust of intervention.
“Of greater good is the standard set by the national secretariat of the party, which, in any case, is an admirable and enduring legacy with regard to female representation in politics in this dispensation. “ß
“The party did score a golden goal by ensuring the inclusion of a novel provision in its electoral guidelines and, by this act, gave women a pride of place.
“The giant step increased women representation across the board, from local, state to national level, and provided a leeway to women’s larger involvement in party affairs.
“This development no doubt represents a watershed in Nigeria’s annals of politicisation and signals a sturdy milestone in the age-long struggle for women’s fair share in the country’s political affairs.
“I, therefore, commend the fighting spirit of Nigerian women, particularly the APC women under the leadership of the national woman leader, Dr. Betta Edu. These women of worth worked so hard to bring about this profound provision and I admire their courage which largely helped to achieve this fruition.” she noted.
According to her, it is undoubted that women are largely marginalised and are still being discriminated against on very petty and primordial grounds, but women must brace up for the challenge to alter the tide.
“The provision, strategic as it is, is supposed to work for a preponderance of women who nurture political ambition in the country. However, the pattern of voting in the recently held primary election of the All Progressive Congress (APC), across the country, has shown clearly that a vast majority of women are still miles away from the ideological drive that birthed the inclusion clause. The pattern indicates, conspicuously, that many a woman is yet to see her kind as deserving of trust and confidence.”
She, however, lauded Adamawa chapter of the APC that enable the emergence of the Senator Representing Adamawa Central, Senator Aishatu Ahmed, popularly known as ‘Binani’ as the governorship candidate of APC in the state.
“The Adamawa spirit is palpably missing in most of our women in Nigeria, and this fact tells us where we are with regard to imbibing the can-do spirit. It is a hydra-headed challenge that most women still do not believe in themselves, let alone believing in another woman. It shows, more disappointingly, that the onerous efforts in mentoring, repeated public sensitisation and daunting sacrifices made by women for women are yet to be fully appreciated.
“In Ondo State, for instance, deliberate and conscientious efforts have been made to make the womenfolk develop worthier outlook on life beyond being itinerant hailers who are usually rewarded with ridiculous and short-lived material gains.
“The Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees (FOWOSO), was birthed as a grooming field for women with a goal to elevate the status of women and bring about socio-economic turnaround for them. Concerted efforts made to position women strategically to enable them nurture dream beyond playing domestic roles.
“The primary election promptly provided a test of our earnest efforts towards increasing women representation in Ondo State with the political ambition of a former Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Omowunmi Olatunji, who ran for the party’s ticket in Ondo Central Senatorial District, and Ms. Yejide Ogundipe, another woman who vied to ticket to represent the Ileoluji/Oke-Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency, but, Alas! the female delegates faltered,” she stressed.