Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Tuesday took issues with National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over the latter’s comment that Women Arise should not be accredited as an observer at Saturday’s governorship election over alleged partisanship.
Instead, Mohammed said Women Arise should be replaced with Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER).
Okei-Odumakin who described the comment as blackmail, said “only a twisted mind could manufacture such a low-quality propaganda to run a cheap blackmail,” adding: “The ACN spokesman also betrays a medieval mind still shackled by feudalism and emirate disposition.”
Mohammed had said: “The partisanship of Women Arise as far as the Ondo election is concerned is glaring as the group is led by Dr. Joe-Okei Odumakin, wife of Mr. ‘Yinka Odumakin who has publicly declared his support for Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the forthcoming elections. Mr. Odumakin is also a known ally of Pastor Tunde Bakare who has also declared his support for the incumbent governor.”
But Okei-Odumakin said the comment showed that Mohammed “still has a stone-age view of women as chattels who are to be used without independent thoughts and actions. And perhaps to be kept in purdah!”
She explained that: “Women Arise is an independent organisation with a board made up of eminent Nigerians and thousands of members across the country. It is therefore puerile and crude to say that the opinion of the husband of its president dictates its mandate. Such view can only be held by those who carry low opinion of womenfolk and see them as cheer leaders who should have a few naira notes thrown at after they have been used for election campaigns.
“It is pertinent to ask Alhaji Mohammed, and his leaders if they were not aware of the marital link of Women Arise’s president when they begged the group to participate in the rally against Salami’s removal. And here is Alhaji Mohammed who said that the fact that the removed Justice Salami was handling cases in which ACN had interest should not be linked with all his calls found on the former Court of Appeal president’s phone. Integrity is alien to some folks!’ she submitted.