No fewer than 40 female candidates on the platform of various political parties have converged in Ilorin the capital city of Kwara State with the sole aim of emerging victorious in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
They spoke on their readiness to take the barton of leadership in political offices at two-day Mentoring and Coaching Workshop for Women Candidates in Kwara/Kogi, organised by the Women Radio and Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), supported by UN Women and the Government of Canada.
In her remark at the event, the Action Alliance Deputy Governorship candidate in Kwara State, Victoriai Bamidipo, expressed her delight and satisfaction on the programme.
She noted, “This workshop is so interesting because it enlightens women, especially we, the candidates to know most of the things we didn’t understand before. I now understand that gender is not all about male or female.
“We also learnt that we should work with our agents, which we often take for granted. We are also given training on before, during and post-election strategies. As well as knowing the constitutional guidelines relating to our political careers.”
She further emphasised that women now know what to fight for and what not to, so they wouldn’t be making wrong accusations.
Also speaking, the NNPP House of Assembly candidates, representing Ogori-Mangogo Constituency in Kogi State, Hon. Agela Amao, advised women to come out and participate in politics massively.
According to her, “Women can do it better becasue we feel the pains more than men. We know what is happening in Nigeria as of today. We know the weak points and how best to approach issues better.
“This is coming even as the federal government passed the new Electoral Act, which guarantees to improve level-playing ground for everyone, as well as improve women fortune in politics.”
In her presentation, Emmanuella Azu, of the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center stated that the workshop was the 5th of the 7th states taking place.
Azu said: “We’ve earlier conducted the training in Ekiti, Ebonyi, Calabar, Borno and Kwara is the fifth state. However, we have a partnering state, Kogi in this one. The whole essense of this is to have female representation at the end of 2023 general election. We look forward to seeing more women at parliament, and at various elective positions, not just appointments.
While responding to how women could make a difference, Mrs. Azu noted that, “Having more women in the parliament means we would have more gender-sensitive laws, and sustainability development for the country saying, “Any system that is stewed towards any genders is actually problematic for the country.”
In his lecturer, Development Expert and facilitator at the event, Mr. Jide Ojo, stressed that the new Electoral Act will benefit women the most, citing a case of guaranteed fair election.
Speaking on the theme: “Electoral Landscape and Framework, Mr. Ojo maintained that, “All shenanigans practices done by men to religate women won’t be possible any longer under the new Electral Act. Even, Returning Officers, unlike previously, he doesn’t have absolute power to declare winner anymore. INEC can be petitioned and issues duly investigated.
“With the use of electronic voting, you can follow up the votes cast from INEC website and do the parallel tabulation to establish evidence” stressing that, “There is need to encourage women candidates to deploy reliable agents to polling units that can challenge misconducts.
“You are also to improve your social capital, to be known as a person of integrity, be pro-less privileged people, be relevant in your local community as well as in your religions organisations.”
Source : Vanguard