A female aspirant, contesting election into Ekiti State House of Assembly under the All Progressives Congress (APC) ,Jumoke Oluropo Owoola has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife, Aisha and the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole to honour their words.
The journalist-turned politician is also a Community Advocate, Global Activist, lecturer, and Indigenous Knowledge and Development expert.
She told Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable that Buhari and APC’s inability to live up to their promises to waive nomination fee for female aspirants is drawing her attention out to the world
Owoola who is opposed to the “exorbitant” nomination form fees being charged those contesting the various political offices in the party says it’s a ploy to marginalize women who in most cases are economically weaker than their male counterparts.
In her words: “women view the fees charged as uncalled for, an attempt to destroy the party and a big slap on the laid down policy of the progressives. This development is retrogressive to the policy and good intention of the party to ensure that women participate fully and effectively in the politics of Nigeria.
The aspirant who has been in the forefront of the liberation of women in Nigeria said, she came forward to let the whole world know what is happening in the ruling party as it concerns women
She alleged that APC is poised to sideline women in the forthcoming elections and not willing to give them their rightful places, as far as elective positions are concerned.
“Weeks back in Abuja at the forum for women political aspirants put together by the office of the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari in collaboration with the National Council of Woman societies (NCWS), the President openly opined that female aspirants won’t pay for nomination forms; this gingered women up as we all thanked him.
“Few minutes later, our party Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole who read a message from his wife to support women affirmation, toed the line of Mr. President that women aspirants won’t pay. The question is why the sudden change a week later?. This is uncalled for. I have spoken with other aspirants, but they are afraid to come out and talk. This is worrisome”
She alleged that the money put into the nomination forms for female aspirants was deliberately designed by some leaders in the party to frustrate women and discourage some of them with good intention to contest the next elections adding “with the present position of things in APC, only the money bags and those who are sponsored would be able to afford the nomination fees which have been the highest in the history of the progressives and the APC”
Owoola argued that the party is discouraging women with good intention to serve stressing “some of us were called by our people as a result of what we have contributed to our constituencies “
Making particular reference to the situation in Ekiti State, Owoola said “APC in Ekiti State is to my mind rewriting history against women. Or how can a state chapter of a supposedly progressive party openly erect a high fence against women participation in vying for elective positions in the most brazen manner?”
She disclosed that the visible body language of APC points to the fact that women are aberrations in the current scheme adding “the lingering oppression and discrimination against women must stop.”
Owoola went further: “the present leadership of the party has shifted from the position of the Progressives which prevents women from paying any form of money to contest elections. Asking women to now start paying is against the principle and objectives of the progressives right from the days of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’’
The party’s action she said would prevent women from achieving the affirmation of the United Nations that 35 percent of women should be represented in government and even elective positions.