Manel Oboh (left) and Tonto Dike

By Tony O.

“Yearly, she sends about 3,500 young people back to school. When it comes to choosing a running mate, many people look at a lot of indicators, but for me there are certain indicators I look at.

“Are you able to employ young people and create employment for the people of Rivers and Nigerians?

“What is your disposition towards women and youth inclusion? Believe me, she has all of that qualifications.”

Read Also: International Women’s Day: We’ve come far, but… — Mabel Oboh, ex-Edo guber candidate

That was the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Rivers State, Mr. Tonte Ibraye, last Friday, giving reasons for picking Nollywood star, Tonto Dike, as his running mate.

There must be something uniquely democratic about ADC that recognises what women can bring to the table.

At the 2020 Edo state governorship election, an amazon made her mark on the platform of same party. She is Mabel Oboh, an icon of the Nollywood foundational exploits, veteran broadcaster, philanthropist and politician.

Now in Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mabel Oboh has continued to show that hard work, passion, honesty, and determination can swing things around.

Yes, female politicians are out there squeezing into tiny spaces left by domineering men. But Mabel Oboh, like Tonto Dike, does not seek tiny spaces. She creates space.

Did they come to the table with a different brand of political activities too early? No. Women have sat back for long. Is ADC sending a message? Yes. But none of the “big” parties seems to comprehend.

These are women that can hold there own without patronage. And their ideological bents are human focused, which reflects in their issue-based campaign and clear-cut forensic plan to tackle basic challenges that inept leadership has given larger-than-life presence.

There’s absolutely nothing else besides wishing Tonto Dike well. Rivers governorship election space promises to be an exciting stage. But the women and youths’ day has come.

As Mabel Oboh would say, “the day politicians realise how key women are to nation building is the day they know that our place at the table is not a privilege.”

Tony wrote in from Lagos

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