Wife of the Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki and wife of the deputy governor, wife of State Deputy Governor, Maryann Shaibu at the weekend led other women leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on a protest against an alleged marginalisation of women in elective political positions in the state.
BusinessDay reports that they were joined by other notable women leaders in the peaceful protest to the secretariat of the ruling party in the state.
Also in the protest train were Josephine Anenih, former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Esther Uduehi, Board of Trustees members of the party as well as others from the 18 local government areas of the State.
Obaseki, who had earlier organised a parley for the party’s women leaders in Government House, noted that the protest was to ensure that women had more roles to play in politics and governance in the state, ahead of the local government elections in the State.
The First Lady, who lamented the non-implementation of 35 per cent Beijing affirmative action in the state, decried abandonment of women after contributing to the party’s victories in the last House of Assembly election.
She appealed to the leadership of the party in the state to give more chairmanship, vice-chairmanship and and councillorship slots to women as well as supervisory councillorship among other positions for women in the forthcoming local government elections.
According to her, we are here today to advocate and push for more women to benefit from political and elective positions in this government.
“When we had the governorship election in 2020, the leadership of the party acknowledged the role women played to ensure the governor won his second term, but the women were not compensated.
“We thank the governor, his government and the party for the favourable and progressive policy under the leadership of Governor Obaseki and for making the nomination form for the local government election free for women. This is the right step in the right direction.
“We thank you, your Excellency, for creating the platform for women to contest for chairmanship positions in the last local government primary elections. We appeal to the leadership of the party; we want more chairmanship, vice-chairmanship, councillorship, supervisory councillorship and other positions for women.
“We have two women in the Edo House of Assembly and two women to contest the chairmanship position come September 2nd, 2023. We want more of them in governance because good governance without women will not work as their contributions must not be taken for granted,” she said.
While noting that there are valuable, intelligent, capable, and qualified women who can contribute well to the development of Edo State, she opined that when women are in power, progress is assured.
She also appealed that more women should be given the opportunity to contribute their quota to the growth and development of the society.
Obaseki, who also commended Edo women for their roles in the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the 2020 governorship election and the 2023 Edo House Assembly elections called on the party to reward the efforts of the women with more opportunities for elective and appointive positions.
In his response, Tony Aziegbemi, the state chairman of the party commended the women for their support for the state government and party at the last general elections.
Tony, who assured the first lady and other women leaders of the party that their issue had been on the front burner, explained that it was as a result of their interest that the party gave nomination forms to women for free to motivate and encourage more of them into politics.
“We expect more women to be in the chairmanship, vice-chairmanship, and councillorship levels. We have two women in the chairmanship position in the coming local government election. We have about 30 women candidates in the councillorship election.
“For the vice-chairmanship, the governor has directed that at least the women have at least 50 percent.
“This government has been women-friendly and we will do more as we acknowledge the fact that without you, we would not have won our elections and we will do more for the women.
“What we didn’t do at the chairmanship level, we can compensate at the vice-chairmanship level,” he assured.