An election observer, Gender and Election watch (GEW) has dismissed the just concluded political parties’ primaries as undemocratic, non inclusive, stating that women aspirants faced intimidation, harassment and threats in their aspirations into various positions.
GEW in a statement issued on Tuesday reports that the primaries did not reflect democratic principles of fairness as some of the women were asked to step down under threats and intimidation for candidates who have not been part of the process before.
“quite a number of the women aspirants were faced with intimidation, harassment and threats to their persons and properties in their aspirations into various positions.
“The intensity with which voters who participated in the primaries were induced was quite undemocratic. This is not just a threat to women who are the most vulnerable but men as well. GEW stated.
GEW regrets that the primaries failed to reflect democratic gains since the return of Nigeria to democratic process in 1999, and commitment towards an inclusive democratic process in Nigeria by political parties
GEW while condemning the development demanded for an immediate action from all stakeholders to save Nigeria’s democracy from losing the gains made over the years and from a complete exclusion of women, youths and persons with disabilities.
The election observers also called on all political parties to be more democratic in their pursuit of power and positions.
GEW however commended the boldness of women who stood tall during the primaries and urging security agencies to give special protection to women who are still under threats following the primaries.
The Gender and Election Watch (GEW) is an initiative of Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF)’s aimed at observing and analyzing the participation of women compared to men in elections through election observation from a gender perspective.