Kogi women politicians: Men are suppressing, relegating us

Women politicians in Kogi have alleged that they were being denied the opportunity to contest elective posts, and accused male politicians of “constantly seeking to dominate the political space”.Some of them, who spoke with newsmen in Lokoja, accused the men of using women as “mere voters” without giving them any chance to test their popularity.Mrs. Kemi Oluyori, a former aspirant to the Kogi House of Assembly, said that she was notallowed to partake in her party’s primary election because she was a woman.

“When I indicated my interest in contesting the seat in 2014, youths kept visiting my house in the middle of the night to warn me to steer clear. They threatened to disgrace me if I insisted.“At a point, they started calling me names that gave the impression that politics was not for responsible women,” she said.She, however, implored women to work toward voting at least one woman into an elective position to serve as their voice.On her part, Mrs. Bisi Abejide, another politician, said that women were often forced tovote candidates supported by their husbands.“Some husbands force their wives to vote for their candidates, not minding the opinion of thewives. This is not fair.“Some women are also afraid of coming out onelection days because of the harassment and violence visited on voters. We must purge our politics of such evils if we want our women to truly participate,” she said.Abejide, however, enjoined women to vote for candidates of their choice, saying that voting was one of their fundamental human rights.Mrs. Balikis Arome, a trader, said that women had the highest number of voters in the country but had not been allowed to use such advantage to decide who should lead them.Arome, however, accused women of being theirown enemy.“Women are the problems of women, They don’t want women like them to control or rule them.“Some of us (women) sell out our rights to votebecause of money only to complain after election. This is not wise,” she said.She advised women against selling their votes, urging them to vote for candidates that would listen to them and address their concerns.

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