By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-AHEAD of the 2019 general elections, the Founder, Refocusing Nigerians’ Talents Organisation, RENITO, Musa Abanka, explains why women are yet to get it right during elections in the country.
Abanka said women over the years have not come together to make a strong demand with one voice when their male counterparts in politics approach them for votes during elections.
He further stated that women are yet to put politicians on their toes by giving them stringent conditions at the local, state and federal levels before voting for them, and also make case when the conditions are breached.
He said: “The 2019 elections are drawing closer and we have not seen women make strong demands as conditions to their male counterparts who are canvassing for their vote.
“If they want their condition changed politically, socially and economically, they need to have one strong and united voice to tell the men what they want and not what the men want. Like the 35 per cent affirmative action should be a strong point as their stance and term of condition to who wants to be governor or president.
“They are to have written agreement adequately signed by them and the politicians that are looking to get their vote and that will be for the records so they can always refer to it as their back-up during appointments. This has been the missing link women are yet to explore and make themselves relevant in the politics of today and future as far as firm demands are concerned.”
He also said that women have not been supportive of other women who have aspired to hold one elective position or the other, because they do not believe in each other’s potential, and that has made it difficult for most party women to win elections in the country.
“Women in Nigeria do not believe in one another, especially when they see their fellow women contesting for elective positions. They will initially agree to vote for them but before you know it, they abandon their fellow woman and decide to vote for a man for that position.
“This has not been helpful for women in and outside politics. It is high time women changed their mindset about other women, especially in politics and unite to ensure they have more women in elective positions”, he added.
He also asserted that women who are in politics seeking votes of other women should not allow themselves to be used by their male counterparts with the motive to garner votes for themselves, and at the end of the day abandon their ambition by stepping down, because it disappoints the women who support them and make them to be politically enslaved.
“Some women who aspire for elective positions under a political party’s platform have also not done well by allowing themselves to be used by their male counterparts who at the end of the day drop their political ambition by stepping down because they have been promised political appointments and other settlements.
“You are politically enslaving the women who are supporting you to get there, and you are a disappointment. I encourage such women in politics to sustain their ambition to the end because there are women and some men who believe in you and would vote for you.
“We need courageous women in politics and are determined to be and give women the voice through quality representation at the executive and legislative arms of government.
“We are yet to see in this country women like Funmilayo Ransom Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, Hajia Gambo Sawaba, and other contemporary women in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, Croatia, among others,” he stated.
He also called on other NGOs to encourage women by galvanizing their huge number and potential to put their male counterparts on their toes and seize the opportunity of the 2019 elections to carve a niche for themselves and be relevant in the political space.