A Human Rights Group under the Aegis of “women in Politics” ( Adamawa State Chapter) have lamented the continued marginalisation and discouragement of women’s participation in politics in the country.
The group made the observation following an October 14th Judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa state which nullified the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani as the governorship candidate of the party in the 2023 General elections.
Expressing its displeasure over the ruling , the group at a rally held in Yola the state capital on Thursday said that despite the enormous contributions of women to the Nation’s economy , their aspirations to engage in politics are threatened by obstacles created by Political parties and influence of the male gender that dominate leadership positions in Political Parties.
The Group’s coordinator Ms. Comfort Ezra noted that according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) women and youths accounted for over 75% of the registered voters, she lamented that despite the figure women are still being sidelined and discouraged from aspiring for key political leadership positions.
Commenting on the ruling Comfort said that though the group respects the decision of the Court, they however wondered if Binani who won legitimately with 430 votes from casted in her favour from party delegates duly accredited by both the APC and INEC will be denied the ticket.
The group in a press statement released to newsmen noted that only the Men folk in the APC, across Political divides including the ruling PDP have refused to eat the humble pie of defeat but rather engage vowed to fight the only female Governorship aspirant of a major political party by raising flimsy issues of technicalities through the courts.
The group described the ruling as a deliberate effort by the male gender to stop the women folk from leadership positions.
The statement read in parts;
“Women are inarguably the determinant demography in our political processes in Nigeria. In the 2019 general election, women accounted for about 47.14 per cent of the over 84 million registered voters nationwide, for the 2023 elections the Independent National Electoral Commission says women and youths form over 75% of registered voters.
“We express our dismay and vehemently kick against marginalization of women in the political space, especially by political parties who tend to deliberately put obstacles on the path of the female gender during their primary elections.
“The recent court judgment delivered by the federal high court sitting in Yola which refuse to uphold the election of the only female Governorship candidate in Nigeria for the 2023 general election, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani of the All Progressives Congress is a wake-up call to all women in Nigeria and not Adamawa State alone. We call on all women across the country to ensure that she is not ripped off her mandate using technicalities.
“With 430 votes, we believe Senator Binani rattled the men folk not only in APC but across board, the technicalities of seeking to refuse her the ticket through the courts is a deliberate effort by the male gender to stop the women folk from leadership positions and we consider it an affront on all women.
“We urge women stakeholders in the political space to rise and defend the women by protecting the mandate duly given to Binani. We must all remember that women are Nation builders and have capacity to adequately manage resources and deliver on the needs of the people.
Highlighting Binani’s achievements, the group listed the Senator’s legislative infrastructure and empowerment interventions since her assumption at the 9th Senate which they said cut across the Senatorial District of Adamawa.
According to Ezra, the issue is not about gender but about the sterling performance of Binani which has earned her the support of the good people of Adamawa. While urging her male opponents to display sportsmanship, the group however expressed confidence in the judiciary Urging Binani not to relent in recovering her mandate at the Appellate court.
They called on the APC, women ,Rights groups and Nigerians to rally behind Senator Binani to ensure that her mandate is not thwarted through the backdoor.
According to the group, Binani is well positioned to win the Governorship race, pointing out that her victory at the primary necessitated the PDP led Government in the state to swiftly replace its Deputy Governorship candidate with a female immediately Binani won the APC Governorship primary election.