By Dorcas Jonah
Natasha Akpoti, the candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), in the Nov.16 Governorship election in kogi, has promised to address maginalisation of women in Nigerian political system, if elected governor.
Akpoti made the promise in Abuja while addressing women, seeking support for Kogi governorship race at a meeting organised by the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) to woo all her affiliates in Kogi to support the SDP candidate.
She noted that women, whom she described as pillars of the family, were underestimated, especially at the government and political circles.
Akpoti also decried a situation where the state had been renowned as a violent state.
She said women must be seen as a force to be reckoned with in terms of good governance and building a progressive society.
“It is time for women to be allowed to make policies and decisions that will affect our children.
“Natasha is a political reformer and not a politician.
“For me coming to government house, things must change for the better. I want my life to be a testimony for better society, as women are not meant for gossiping but reformers,’’ she said.
Akpoti said she would also strive to confront thuggery and godfatherism which had undermined the true value of democratic dividend to the people on whose mandate politicians were elected.
She said the critical sector for human development: education and health, would be funded to reduce the burden on women who cared for the welfare of their children.
According to her, it does not cost much to make the public school the envy of all and provide for functional hospitals to cater for the health of Kogi people across all strata.
She assured the women that she would be their ambassador and would inspire younger women to dare the status quo for a better life.
Also addressing the women, the National President, NCWS, Dr Gloria Shoda, lamented the low gender rating status of Nigeria.
She said the figures so far showed how the nation shut off her other half.
“Over the years, we have not been happy with the fact that Nigeria is one of the lowest rankings in the gender gap index in politics and governance in Africa and the rest of the world.
“According to the Human Development index in Gender inequality in 2015, Nigeria ranked 152 out of 188 countries and in 2017 ranked 118 out of 192 countries.
“The breakdown of our lagging behind shows that we still have no female governors in the country amongst other gender deficiencies.
“In spite of the fact that 88 women vied for the gubernatorial in the last election cycle in March 2019, none of them won.
“For the entire election, 2,970 female contestants vied for different posts, but only 62 won their elections overall.
“While female political participation increased, female elective representation in our legislatures, particularly the National Assembly has dropped,” Shoda.
Shoda said that the vision of women for nation building should be acknowledged and given all the energy, publicity and support to become reality through a clean, free and fair election at any time.
While congratulating Akpoti and other female candidates for their vision for Kogi, Shoda called on the people of Kogi to shun violence before, during and after the election.
Shoda also urged the people of the state to maintain peace and order during the voting process.
The National President, Nigerian Association of Blind Women, Amina Usman, called on blind women in Kogi to troop out on Nov. 16 to queue behind Akpoti, to make her aspiration realisable as governor of the state.
Canvassing support for the female candidate in the Kogi governorship race, Usman said all women in Kogi should persuade their husbands to vote for Akpoti.
Usman, who spoke through the former Secretary General, African Union of the blind, Esther Audu said it was time for women to be given a chance to show what they could do.(NAN)