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Where are Nigerian women in politics?


Nigerian women, tied politically to the apron strings of their men folk, must be busy praying for the Senegalese, Rwandans, Ethiopians, Angolans, Mozambicans, Namibian and South Africans to come to their aid! Right? What nonsense!

In pan-continental fora, Nigerian women, often bearing titles inexorably tied to those of their husbands, show up obscenely dressed, some will say to the nines. Note that serious and accomplished Nigerian women operatives often have to be conscripted to go along in order to lend credibility to the others, the international conference gang.

The majority of Nigerian women in politics are here, with the loftiest objective being the snagging of the Ministry of Women Affairs. I have stated again and again that if women affairs ministry is that important to the Nigerian political class, then a very sensitive MAN should head it while a woman should make Senate President, Speaker and Minister of Power on their own merits.

However, you have to get into the door first.

The people/women of Southern Nigeria should not offer the huge educational disparity up North as an excuse. Imagine if 40, 55% of legislative positions in the South are taken up effectively by experienced, educated, articulate and ambitious women, with the support of other women and their children, (who know their mothers and sisters and wives better than anyone else). We would then be better able to compare and contrast with the semi-feudal, Islamist North, and profit therefrom.

I have an opinion regarding the developments in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and to a lesser extent Mozambique. These peoples fought a long drawn out War of Liberation. The women, and their mothers, shared the trenches, personal love stories and horrors of warfare and died there with the men. That was a great equalising experience at a time the Faridas of Nigeria were peddling jewelry to the wives of the high and mighty and testing out new gélé styles not to mention flying out with the kid to Disneyland.

Our women, the comfortable fraction, from whom we mistakenly expect true political leadership, are very much different from those of these countries that we hold up as shining examples. The truth is that they are sadly not up to the task, not due to any physiological reason. The battle is lost even before it starts in the mind.

After all the societies in Senegal, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa  are noted to be strictly patriarchal, often more so than Nigeria.

To conclude, I must publicly condemn all Nigerian women politicians, (who are now scattered in the APC, the PDP and other tendencies), who in 2007 made all the correct noises regarding Lady Sara Jubril in her run for the PDP presidential primaries. She had lagged behind the well-organised candidacy of Rochas Okorocha but well ahead of the rest. I will leave out the Yar’Adua campaign, a Federal Government financed effort, which Olusegun Obasanjo adopted as a personal quest for reasons best known to him. And as they say, the rest is history.

Now, can anyone explain Mrs Jubril’s single vote at those primaries to me? So, her campaign manager and the rest of the team voted for somebody else? For which mess of pottage? I don’t get it.  Nigerian women in politics, the last relevant remaining untested group for control of the polity, are clearly not ready for leadership. They deliberately hobble themselves.

What hope is there going forward?

Oduche Azih

Okota, Lagos State:

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