Nasarawa State is set to conduct local government elections. Governor Abdullahi A. Sule has provided the logistics to enable Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) to ensure a hitch-free election for 13 Local Government Chairmen and 147 Councillors across the State.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has commenced the process of fielding flag bearers that will slug it out with opposition parties in the general election slated for October 6, 2021.
The conduct of party primaries in disputed areas and production of consensus candidates where Stakeholders were able to handle, was almost concluded not without skirmishes, which is normal in all elections. What became worrisome is the almost Zero-Representation of women in the exercise. Available records revealed that no single woman was elected or selected for Chairmanship with only pockets of women for Councillorship.
Youths too did not find it as easy as they thought. Women’s case is more pathetic. From the body language of Governor Abdullahi A. Sule and his Deputy Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, women were meant to be given the opportunity through competitive advantage. Unfortunately, most women could not purchase the expression of interest form and the nomination form due to what they called the high cost of the forms even though they were to pay only 50 percent of the cost of the forms. In the few places where women made efforts, they sailed through by the whiskers for Councillorship. For Chairmanship, it was absolute zero.
From all indications, women were not prepared to assume the mantle of leadership through competition, but waiting to be given on the platter of gold. Nasarawa State is blessed with qualified and virtuous women who can compete favourably with men but lack unity of purpose. It was expected that women’s organisations and richly endowed amongst them, would support women who needed support to aspiring to the positions of Council Chairmen and Councillors. This was not forthcoming. The deed has been done. To cushion the effect of women’s marginalization in the local government election, I am advocating that not less than six(6) Deputy Chairmen of the 13 Local governments should be preserved for women of impeccable credentials and competence. Same for the position of Secretaries of the local government. This is to encourage and appreciate them for their commitment, loyalty, and sacrifice for the development and growth of the party considering their numerical strength.
Their Excellencies, Wives of the Governor of Nasarawa State as well of the wife of the Deputy Governor has shown commitment to better the plight of women in the State. They should mount pressure in their appropriate quarters to see into it that women have their fair deal in the scheme of things in the state.
On their own part, women should close ranks and avoid petty jealousy and backstabbing and work together in the spirit of oneness to achieve their goals.
Men too should avoid taking all, and remember that their lives cannot be complete without the well-being of their better halves.
Wakeel, A Public Affairs Analyst Writes In From Lafia, Nigeria.
He can be reached through this email [email protected]