James Sowole in Akure
Not pleased with the number of women currently in elective offices and those that were appointed into political positions in the state, women politicians across all political parties in Ondo State have mobilised themselves ahead of the 2020 governorship election, saying they would only support a candidate and political party that give them deputy governorship position.
The resolution of the women was revealed at a news conference addressed by the Association of Female Politicians (AFP) Ondo State as part of activities to commemorate June 12 and Democracy Day in the state.
The women politicians, as part of their demands, said they would not take anything less than the position of deputy governor across all political parties participating in the 2020 election in Ondo State.
Addressing journalists in Akure, the National Chairman of the AFP, Mrs Adebunmi Osadahun, specifically said there was a need for Akeredolu to see women as partners in progress in the state and increase the appointment of credible women into key political offices.
The group, which comprises all women politicians from different political background, said women were being marginalised by the previous and present administrations in the state.
Osadahun, who was represented by the Ondo State Chairman of the association, Mrs. Janet Adeyemi, noted that in elective offices and legislative arm, the highest representation ever attained by women in the state was 11 per cent which was in 2011, “with three women elected to state House of Assembly, as against the recommended 35 per cent affirmation, which is operative under the law”.
She said it was unacceptable that there is only one woman as House of Assembly member currently in Ondo State just as only one woman was remaining as a commissioner at present.
According to her, “We conducted a historical scan of the political participation of women in Ondo State and Nigeria at large and observed that over the 20-year period from 1999-2019, Ondo State women have continued to witness abysmal representative percentages across the state.
“This unacceptable low representation further reduced, drastically, to 3.8 per cent with just one female representative presently in the state House of Assembly, and none in the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate.
“Currently, Ondo State ranks high among the states where very few women have participated in the management of Nigerian public institutions such as political parties, legislative assemblies and executive councils, which are depicted as ‘male clubs’.
“The height of worry and tipping point for female politicians in Ondo State was the stark reality presented by the just concluded 2019 election where only one woman made it to the state assembly.
“This is a call for urgent action by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to follow the trend of other African nations who have entrenched women leadership as a way of governance and are currently reaping the huge benefits such as rapid development and growth in all sectors of social and economic life.”
The association also called on all state governors across the nation to entrench the affirmative action through adequate appointment of women into key political offices in places where there is a shortfall in female elective representation.