Female candidates in the just concluded 2019 general elections in the country under the umbrella of Strategic Women in Leadership Initiative (SWILI), have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to include some of them in his government, adding that the number of women in his government have drastically reduced.
Speaking during its programme tagged: “Agenda 2023,” in Lagos, the National Coordinator of SWILI and Convener Female Candidates 2019, who was also the Mega Party of Nigeria candidate for Lagos Mainland Constituency 1, Hon. Emem, Nancy Patrick Akpan, and Deputy National Coordinator, Ngozichi Okorie said the women are not happy about what happened in the just concluded elections because the exercise wasn’t fair.
According to Akpan, most female candidates faced intimidation some as non-indigenes and some because of their gender.
“In my constituency, Mainland Constituency I, as a non-indigene, I was deprived. Seeing my posters alone was a threat in my constituency.”
She stated further that the aim of the programme was to bring women together to be relevant in governance, adding that so many of the women had contested for elections, spent money and have gone back home without government remembering them as women and mothers.
“We cannot contest for election and you dump us, thinking that we cannot be relevant. Those that are on the seat that you felt have won the elections and are qualified are not better than us the female candidates that contested. They are not more educated; we have value and we are women of integrity. We are mothers and we have passion.
“We want to create awareness for the president to look into our matter. We need more women in governance. He can fix us up in different offices and parastatals so that we can make ourselves relevant.
“The number of women at the various levels of government has really gone down; the percentage has dropped and to us, it is unacceptable.
“In 2023, we want to see how we can use every available mechanism, both constitutional and unconstitutional to see how we can increase the number of women in governance above what it is today. When it comes to women representation in politics, Nigeria is the lowest in Africa.”
Others who participated in the programme included, President, Women in Politics Forum, Ebere Ifendu, and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Women Trust Fund, Mufliat Fijabli among others.