By Jessica Onyegbula
Eunice Atuejide, Founder, National Interest Party (NIP), has called for more involvement of women in the political space to create balance and enable them to contribute their quota to nation building.
Atuejide, who made the call during a panel discussion, ”Beyond Elections 2019″, organised by the Election Network an NGO in Abuja, stressed that the time had come for women to give back to the society.
While noting that it was time to prepare for the 2023 general elections, Atuejide stressed that women participation and representation over time, especially in the just concluded general elections, was poor.
Atuejide, who was the Presidential candidate of NIP in the 2019 elections, also noted that less than seven per cent of women were elected into various positions in the elections.
“Women should brace and participate actively in politics; they should also make sure that they participate actively in various associations/unions to prepare them fully for active politics.
“It has not been easy for women to push for certain demands that would better their working conditions in the private sector.
“We pass through pains battling to occupy positions in the country simply because the atmosphere is not favourable; we want a situation where we are given our rightful chance,” she said.
Austin Aigbe, the Senior Programme Officer, Centre for Democracy and Development, said that power was not given but taken and stressed that the youth and women must fight for their rights.
Aigbe said that Nigeria had seven core values of integrity, consisting of discipline, patriotism ,self-reliance, social justice ,dignity of labour and religious cooperation, yet many people were not aware of them talk less of practising them.
Aigbe urged the youth to imbibe the core values to curb electoral irregularities, including thuggery, vote buying and violence, during elections.
“If we are able to live by the core values, the issues of poverty and food insecurity will be bygone issues; even youths will have the courage to begin to understand that if they live by them, they will solve all the problems we have.
“Without the core values, the civil roles of people will not matter, if you talk about integrity, it begins to convince you that you don’t need to sell your vote.
“You need to look for the rightful person who will be more patriotic to vote into power, so if you have the interest of the nation at heart then that will be paramount,” he said.
The Convener of the Programme, Mrs Farida Adamu, noted that the programme was aimed at pointing out the errors in the last elections and stressed the time had come to hold office holders accountable. (NAN)