Guber Poll: Kogi Women demands more inclusion in Governance
Ahead of the much anticipated Governorship election, a Non-Governmental, Kogi Women Constituency lead has called on incoming administration to include more Women in Governance to have a reformed Kogi State.
The group made the call on Wednesday at a meeting with
candidates for the Kogi Governorship election and signing of the Women Charter of Demand held in Lokoja.
In her opening remarks, the Kogi State Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA), Barr. Ajuma Lilian Okolo Esq noted that, as critical stakeholders in electioneering process, the groups has a common goal to advance the women’s agenda in the upcoming gubernatorial elections.
Okolo posited that, there is need for all stakeholders to support and encourage women to run for public office, adding that, their voices need to be present in decision-making bodies.
Explaining further, the FIDA Chairperson said “Women, who make up a significant portion of the population, are instrumental in shaping the future of our state. Our contributions, experiences, and perspectives are invaluable and must be recognized and celebrated.
“In the upcoming gubernatorial elections, it is not just a political contest; it is a crucial opportunity for us to make our voices heard and our priorities clear. The women’s agenda isn’t about exclusion; it’s about ensuring that our concerns, aspirations, and needs are addressed effectively by those who hold public office.
“It is essential that we, as women, come together and work in harmony to inculcate the women’s agenda into the heart of Kogi State’s political landscape”.
While noting that there is need to unite in advocating for policies that empower women, including those that promote education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and gender equality, Okolo stated further that, It’s time to demand legislation that protects women’s rights and promotes their well-being.
She stressed the need to embark on campaign to educate Women
about the power of their votes and ensure that everyone understands the importance of participating in the democratic process and making informed choices.
” It’s our right and duty to hold our elected officials accountable. Ensure that the promises made by candidates align with the women’s agenda and that they work to fulfill those promises once in office.
“Remember, the women’s agenda isn’t a call for special treatment; it’s a call for equality, justice, and a better future for all. Our contributions are essential to the progress and development of Kogi State, and we must take our rightful place at the table” she stressed.
Also speaking, the Kogi State Coordinator, Young Women in Politics Forum, Barr. Joy Oluwaseun Akinola appealed to key actors to ensure that there is no violence before, during and after the election.
Her words “Women in Kogi State have been subjected to all forms of violence in previous election which does not speak well for our nascent democracy. The killing of Salome Abuh and the recent incident in Koton Karfe is still fresh in our memories. Women should be protected and not killed. We are happy that the candidate present in today’s ocassion signed a peace accord and promised that there will be no violence and it will be issue based campaign”
Akinola, however, appealed to Women in Kogi State to come out en-mass and vote for Candidate of their choice, adding that, they should not engage any act that would affect the future their children.
On her part, the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural change and Development, (PIBCID) Rachel Remilekun Akande averred that, all the Governorship Candidate should come out and tell their agenda for Kogi Women if elected come 11th November 2023.
According to her, Women will no longer be subjected to the background in decision making and Governance in Kogi State, adding that, Women across the 21 Local Government have penciled down their charter of demands for any elected Government to work with.
” We are already having a working document and we will approach all the Candidates to append their signatures. Since it is a working document, we will show them, that this was what we agreed before election, so they should act on it if they are elected”.
The Coordinator, Kogi State Affirmative Action Group,Hajia Mariam Bello, in her contributions noted that, the group will continue to monitor the activities of any Government toward ensuring transparency, accountability, and good governance for Women in Kogi State.
According to her, “The Candidates present in today’s meeting assured us that, the issue of inclusivity that has been a major concern to Kogi Women is going to be on their front burner when are elected.
“Leap service when it comes to Women issues have been trashed out. There is no going to leap service concerning Women issues which they have assured us. We are going to monitor their activities for good governance in Kogi State”
Hajia Sefiya Yahaya, the State Coordinator, Small Scale Women Farmers Association of Nigeria lamented on the neglect of female farmers in Kogi State.
“We are asking all the candidate to tell us their agenda for female farmers in Kogi State. The association is tired of hearing stories and lies. Female farmers constitute about 75 percent of the population but, they are not given the desired attention despite us feeding the nation. The Candidates that were here today have promised to look into our charter of demands and work with it if elected. We pray do it as promised”She said.