By Chioma Gabriel
I’m being tempted to agree with those who say that women are a necessary evil, a desirable calamity and a domestic peril. How do you explain this? A politician like the People’s Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate Peter Obi would ordinarily want to protect his wife from the life and shine of politics but necessity warrants him to expose her to the campaign fields for the purposes of winning the 2019 elections. She needed to come out to work with other women because her husband’s party needs to win the election.
For the same purpose, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP had unleashed all his wives on the electorate to go campaign for the success of the PDP. At this moment, it doesn’t matter who should become the first lady when he wins. The most important thing is to win and the women are all cooperating to ensure that.
After raving and ranting about the cabal that hijacked power from her husband, Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari‘s emerged from the kitchen and the other room to head her husband’s women and youths campaign train. She has since forgotten her threats about never going to support her husband’s re-election because of the cabal she alleged had hijacked power from the president.
In an interview with the BBC in 2016, Aisha Buhari had threatened to withdraw support for her husband if he chose to seek re-election unless he shakes up his cabinet and includes more people who worked for his success in 2015. She said although the victory of the APC in 2015 was a collective effort of millions of people, the government is being operated by a few people.
Again last month, Aisha Buhari lamented that two powerful personalities have constituted themselves as a clog in the wheel of speedy development of the country. She claimed that her husband would have achieved more or even achieved all he had promised in one year but for two people in government who will never allow things to move fast. The President’s wife said that she was disappointed in men who rather than fight these two men, will go to them in the night begging for favour But before the end of December last year, Buhari had denied claims by his wife that two persons she referred to as cabal were controlling the affairs of his government. The President even challenged his wife to prove the existence of the cabal or remain silent, stressing that no one or group of persons were dictating the affairs of his government as being claimed.
But all these are now history.
In this period of electioneering campaigns, no woman belongs to the kitchen and the other room anymore. Women constitute the highest number of voters and are professional composers of praise songs for candidates seeking elections in various categories. Women have the strength of a horse and can combine campaigns rallies and travels with taking care of the home front and still be active in the other room.
Despite her challenges, the Nigerian woman never ceases to amaze. She is always at her best doing what she knows how to do and would still remain sexy, sassy, stimulating, scintillating and sensual for her husband, including being a stabilizer in the home front.
Yet, while an Obiageli Ezekwesili would announce decision to withdraw from the 2019 presidential race and end her membership of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), another woman in her position would push on.
Ezekwesili had cited divergence of values and vision with the leadership of the party as her reason for resigning, pontificating that Nigeria and Nigerians deserve a new order of ethical, competent and capable leadership.
According to her, she had assumed that the ACPN was aligned with her to offer that, until it proved otherwise.
In other words, her party betrayed her cause.
And the party’s next step proved her right. It quickly endorsed the candidate of APC, Muhammadu Buhari, a decision announced by Ezekwesili’s erstwhile VP candidate who is also the chairman of ACPN.
We should also remember that as the presidential candidate of ACPN, many have always believed that Ezekwesili was campaigning for Buhari. Those who believed that had their reasons and it seemed current developments have proven them right too.
Many women who dabbled in active politics have had disappointing tales to tell. Only a few went far to achieve their goals and even then, it was not easy for them.
The thing about the women is a huge challenge. Apart from being used as a back-up, a lot still needs to be done to give women more room for participation in politics.
As stated by Afe Babalola, it does appear that the huge and overwhelming representation of women at most political rallies has not transformed to increased opportunities for women to contest election .
What do you think?