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Battle for Anambra: Where are the women?

By Emmanuel Aziken

THE forthcoming election is one that is bound to sadden advocates of women participation in politics. The sad commentary on women involvement in the 2017 contest is evidenced by the fact that no woman has been mentioned among the about two dozen aspirants who have shown interest in the office.

Women politicians seeking the highest office in the state have been challenged by the seeming reluctance of men who hold dominion in the state to give heed to a female chief executive of the state. When Senator Joy Emodi made her memorable campaign in 1998, the complaint at that time was the question on who would break kola nut at meetings presided over by the governor. Mrs. Emodi had responded that she would designate a male commissioner to be breaking kolanut.

Uche Ekwunife acknowledging cheers from supporters

Mrs. Emodi’s move for the governorship was only derailed by the death of Gen. Sani Abacha and the truncation of his transition programme. Following Emodi, Anambra women had luck smile on them when Dame Virgy Etiaba, who became the first female deputy governor of the state also became the first female governor of the state after the controversial removal of the substantive governor, Mr. Peter Obi in late 2006.

An attempt by Mrs. Uche Ekwunife to follow the path set by Senator Emodi in 2013 was frustrated by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA in the 2013 contest as she was technically blocked forcing her to return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

However, political gossip continues to spread that Mrs. Ekwunife could be a running mate to one of the major contenders in a race in the All Progressives Congress, APC.


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