By Victoria Ojeme
Ahead of Kogi State Governorship election scheduled for November, a group of women drawn from across Kogi State, particularly Kogi Central Senatorial Districts, yesterday declared their support for Natasha Akpoti.
Akpoti ran for Kogi Central Senatorial seat under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the last National Assembly elections but allegedly lost to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The women who made their position known during a solidarity visit to her Abuja home lamented that the current state government has failed to meet the expectations and the yearnings of the people in all areas of development.
The leader of the group, Princess Umulkhani Otokiti, speaking on behalf of other women, noted that women in the state have been marginalized and subjected to discrimination.
She stressed that it was time for one of them to become the number one citizen of the state.
She further commended Akpoti for her commitment women and youth empowerment, assuring her that the people of the state, especially women are behind her.
She said: “Natasha Akpoti has made us proud in Kogi State and we feel that it will not be appropriate for the world to embrace her while we stay back. “We are here to show our support for her political aspiration and we are endorsing her to contest for the state’s governorship election. She has the qualities and would do a better job.”
Appreciating the women for the trust and confidence reposed in her, Akpoti admitted that women are marginalised in Nigeria, particularly in politics due to lack of enabling policies.
She maintained that countries with a greater percentage of women in leadership positions are better governed and more developed in human capacity.
She, therefore, flayed members of the National Assembly, especially female legislators for refusing to work towards the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, noting that a robust legislative reform was needed to ensure greater women participation in politics.
On the call to contest for the governorship seat in the state, Akpoti again thanked the women for trusting in her ability to deliver but informed that she was yet to make up her mind on that.
According to her, she has not done necessary consultations in that regard.
She told the women that her primary focus is to reclaim her “stolen mandate” in court while working towards contributing to human development.
Akpoti further warned that the forthcoming election in the stage might be tougher than what was experienced during the national assembly elections.