A non-partisan organisation with special focus on increased women participation in politics under the aegis “Our Women of Now” (OWN), has declared its commitment to mobilise more Nigerian women to register and participate in the 2019 elections.
The women group expressed displeasure at the situation of things in the country, especially, dearth of basic infrastructure and relevant social amenities and were of the view that increased participation of Nigerian women in active politics will engender their vision. Making the declaration during a press conference held at Ocean Parade Hotel, Banana Island, Victoria Island, Lagos, OWN’s leadership stated that women participation will not only bring sanity to the polity, but would also engender the much sought national development that has hitherto, eluded the country.
Speaking at the conference, founder of OWN, Mrs Saidat Odofin-Benjamin, stated that the main goal of the group is not only to ensure that all Nigerian women and their wards of voting age receive full political enlightenment and voter education to make 2019 a huge success, but also to ensure that any aspirant to political office would be relevant in the nation building process.
According to Odofin-Benjamin, “The idea was conceived three years ago but I was waiting to launch it at the most appropriate moment. Now there is a tide of change around the world with women leading the pack and it is important that Africa, especially Nigeria remains at the forefront.
“Although, there are lot of issues about women being abused and several people are speaking against it in the media, both the mainstream and social media, but this is the appropriate time to address women participation in electoral processes”.
The OWN coordinator explained further that the group will move out massively to educate women on the right political attitude.
“We are going out to tell women that if any man gives them a bag of rice to vote for him, they must have a conscience to know that this bag of rice will finish in a month or two but what about the future of our children? So, what we need is for the political officeholders to provide the necessary infrastructures and amenities by which our social and economic activities will be more enhanced.
“So, this is the time to make the right decision by voting for somebody who will make life better for us and our children.’’ she concluded.
Also speaking, the National coordinator of the North Central, Barrister Juliana Shan said the right to vote is for everyone. “For a mother or sister to go out to vote, she is securing the right of her children and husband. As mothers, we cannot sit back at home and not play our part when voting is going on. We have to come out and vote. We are awakening that faithful spirit in women who have given up and resigned their fate to politicians who have not delivered on their promises. We need to get out there and make a difference by casting our vote for the right person.’’
On the strategy to use to achieve their mission, the Chairman of OWN, Mrs. Ngozi Uche- Oji said the group does not interested in gathering women and telling them what to do, we might not be able to cover 774 local governments in Nigeria, we want to use the media extensively. It is the media that will spread the message for us. We want to use newspapers, radio stations in our villages, television, and social media.’’
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