…As Hon. Uduehi Urges Men To Give Women Chance
Iduozee Efe Paul, Benin
Edo State first Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, has frowned against women working against their fellow women contesting for political offices, and appealed to them to always vote for women.
Mrs. Betsy Obaseki made the appeal at the 25th anniversary of the Nigeria League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWN), at Uniben, Ugbowu campus, Benin City, Edo State.
She said she wants the women’s league to be more involved in developing, training and building the capacity of women.
“We must encourage and support women to partake in politics to hold political offices. The women league should be more involved in developing women. We understand that is your core mission.
“If you are apolitical, please remain apolitical. “If you see a woman contesting for political office. You see another woman destroying and campaigning against the woman.
“How many woman can we have for positions? Rather than witch-hunting ourselves, we must encourage women to contest for political positions. Well, we are not lamenting, and today is not a day to groan”.
Mrs Obaseki said the challenge is to use future opportunities to bring enough women into office to help transform Nigeria.
“Twenty five years down the line and another 25 years by God’s grace is coming, and it is going to be better for us. We see a better future and tomorrow.
“It is a future that is brighter and clearer with women in various positions that will bring the change that will transform the country.
“We have qualified women who have represented us very well in the given positions they occupied”, she stated.
In her comments, founder of the Nigeria League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV), Dame Esther Uduehi, urged Nigerian men to give women opportunity to hold more political offices.
The NILOWV president, urged women to be active and take part in whatever is going on in Nigeria.
“We are urging the women to take part in the e-registration to enable them cast their votes and to participate in any activity they see that will make Nigeria great and better. They should not lose faith because so many groups are looking unto them.
“More women should register to join NILOWV. If they join the body, all of us together will move Nigeria forward. My advice to men is for them to give women a chance. For many years, women have supported the men. Now, the men should support the women”.
She said it is time to harness the potentials of women for national benefit.
“Now, the men have seen the good in women, they should tap into it and allow us hold more political positions in Nigerian politics,” Uduehi said.
Iyom Josephine Anneih, on her part, challenged women to, “discover who they are and come out to participate to utilize potentials that God has deposited in them”.
The former minister urged women to dig in and discover who they are.
“What we are teaching women is, in spite of the way they socialize, educate and are brainwashed by friends and religion, they should start accepting ourselves; we should start doing that which is in us.
“If you look at every family, it is more difficult for men to do all the job of running house spending. Women are the ones doing it. They have to plan the home budget expenses and make sure they provide for their families.
“And men trust women at this level. But, when it comes to the aspect of public office, then the men will start pretending that women don’t have the capacity to lead. So, women should be strong, bold and courageous to assert themselves.
In her vote of thanks former speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Elizabeth Ativie thanked the governor’s wife for honouring their event.
“Anywhere women are doing something, she is always present to support the women. She and her husband have been a great financial help to the programme. We will continue to keep the flag flying wherever we are,” she stated.
Hon. Ativie said what NILOWV is doing is a humanitarian service to put a smile on the faces of women, adding that goal is to educate women and girls on their civic rights.
She informed that their major drive is to go round the 18 local government areas in the state to bring more members into the group
Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Edo State branch, Mrs. Irene Omorogiuwa lamented that women are still backward because they are not getting needed support from the men and some fellow women.
Mrs. Irene Omorogiuwa, who is also the assistant legal adviser of the League said the anniversary is an opportunity to take stock.
“Women are still where they are because women are not getting adequate support, because all the work we have been doing, a lot of people are not imbibing it.
“This 25th Anniversary event we are holding is to celebrate where women are now and where they want to be. For instance in the early 1960s, we did not have women as lawyers, now a lot of women are lawyers.
“So, we have come a long way. If you look at the gathering we are drawing from different walks of life discussing issues that would affect women positively.
“Everybody here is talking about the inclusion of women in governance. When we continue to have interaction like this on issues concerning women, things will change for us in a better way,” she asserted.