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WOMEN’S DAY: Group advocates more women participation in politics

By Sam Eyoboka

AS Nigerian women  joined their counterparts last Sunday to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, a non-partisan organization under the aegis “Our Women Now” has flagged off a campaign for more women to participate in politics.

The women group whch has declared its commitment to mobilize more Nigerian women to register and participate in 2019 election expressed displeasure at the situation of things in the country, vowing to henceforth prevent wrong people from being elected into leadership positions in the country.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos to commemorate International Women’s Day, the founder of OWN, Mrs. Saidat Odofin-Benjamin stated that the main goal of the group was not only to make all Nigerian women and their wards of voting age receive full political enlightenment and voters’ education to make 2019 election a success but also to ensure quality participation in next year’s general election.

She said, “as the United Nations marks international Women’s Day, we are looking at voting as an issue that has to be taken seriously by women. Since another election is scheduled for 2019, it is most important that women have a voice and come out to vote. We are pushing and advocating women to speak against bad governance through their vote. They need to be part of the voting process.”


Odofin-Benjamin argued that women were still marginalized, stressing that “sometimes we are a hidden figure. We are there; yet not there. Women should be visible, ten years ago, we did not have so many women in politics, but today it is different.

“Though women participation in politics is improving, there is the need for more women in politics, playing their role by sharing ideas and contributing to national development,” she maintained.

Also speaking, the chairman of OWN, Mrs Ngozi Uche-Oji said: “Women are marginalized in the voting process. We are aware there are some states in this country where women are not allowed to vote or even to register for voting. Their men take away their voters‘ cards from them, they wouldn’t allow them to vote. This is not right,

“We are saying women should not shy away from their responsibility. They should ensure that the right person is at the right seat. We cannot achieve that by staying back at home during election. Let us come out to vote with our head thinking about the right person.

“Forget about the bag of rice and money they will offer us. Those things can’t work and they will never work. We want a better future for us and our children. We are asking women to always come out and vote. We are also appealing to our husbands to allow us to go and vote so that we can have the right people in leadership and Nigeria will be better for us,” Uche-Oji said.


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