by crossriverwatch admin
The issue of bringing female politicians to mainstream politics in Nigeria was again put on the front burner by the unveiling of POWER Political Advancement for Women (PPA4W) Project and launching of a Trust Fund for female politicians by the Founder/Board Chair, Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization (POWER) Mrs. Obioma Liyel-Imoke.
The event which took place at the Peregrino Hall, Government House, Calabar, attracted powerful politicians and industrialists.
Mrs. Liyel-Imoke said this “initiative is intended to create awareness to the public about the importance of institutionalizing gender-sensitive policies guarding against inequality and discrimination that deprive Nigeria of well qualified persons”.
The Governor’s wife regretted the fact that women in politics have often been complacent and that there is need therefore to wake up, hence the launching of PPA4W.
Quoting a UN document, Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties: A Good Practices Guide to Promote Women’s Political Participation, Mrs. Liyel-Imoke noted that “globally, although 40-50 per cent of party members are women, women hold only about 10 per cent of the leadership positions within those parties.”
She listed some short term goals which include the following, equipping and empowering women with knowledge, abilities and capabilities to access and achieve political inclusion.
Ensuring women are accountable to serve those who have elected them to serve in various capacities.
Ensuring women harness their numerical strength to give better and more inclusive participation in politics.
The Governor’s wife also harped on the issue of mentorship and coaching roles by older politicians towards those who desire to take after them.
She reiterated that PPA4W is not a human rights movement but rather a bid to create awareness that women are available, qualified and capable and willing to negotiate them into the Nigerian polity.
She revealed that it was in pursuance of these lofty objectives that Cross River PDP gave tickets to 75% women candidates comprising 4 female Chairmanship candidates, 15 female Vice Chairmanship Candidates and 56 women councilors which is a leap of well over 100% over previous elections.
While thanking all the dignitaries that graced the occasion as well as contributed to the Trust Fund, she appealed to the nation to adopt the Cross River Model.
In his remark, the State Governor Senator Liyel Imoke observed that the women are more committed in handling any responsibility placed on their fragile shoulders and draw empirical conclusion from the handling of vital sectors of countries most especially the economy by these women.
He asserted that the economy of Rwanda and South Africa are handled by women who have turned them around for good especially Rwanda which emerged from a devastating civil war.
“Rwanda today has one of the most robust economies in Africa”. The Governor asserted.
He called on women to be visionary in their leadership to enable them to be at the epicenter of power and implement their dreams.
He insisted that there must be deliberate affirmative actions which will enable women emerge as candidates and finally called on them to justify the trust and confidence impose in them by the party.
In her remark the Chairman of the occasion Senator Grace Folashade Bent said the Cross River Model was unprecedented having produced the highest number of female candidates for Local Government Council Election in the annals of Nigerian history.
While commending Governor Imoke and his wife Obioma for blazing the trail she called on PDP to adopt the Cross River experiment in their political space.
Others who also delivered Goodwill messages include the national women leader of PDP, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, PDP Chairman Cross River State, Ntufam John Okon, President National Council of Women Societies Cross River State Chapter, Rev. Mrs. Grace Ekanem, Princess Florence Ita Giwa amongst others.
High Point of the event was the Launching of PPA4W Trust Fund by the Chief Launcher Arch. Princess Fifi Ejindu.
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