The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on the Nigerian women to take advantage and participate in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration(CVR),as this is the first step to ensuring participation in the election.
Mrs. Blessing Obidegwu,Director INEC Gender and Inclusivity Department made the appeal Tuesday at the Women Aspirant Summit 2022,organised by Women Radio,in collaboration with 100 Women Lobby Group,Women in Politics Forum and Nigerian Women Trust Fund with theme: ‘Women Working Together for a Democratic Nigeria.’
Represented by Habiba Abdulkarim Jatto,Deputy Director INEC,Obidegwu regretted that the number of women to men who have registered on the continuous voters registration is low.
She disclosed that,”As at 21st March 2021 a total of 6.1million females completed the online voters registration process as against the male of 6.9million. And those who have collected their temporary voters card for female is about 2.1million.
“The electoral Act 2022 has no defined provision for the affirmative action for women but the continuous voters registration can accord women the opportunity to increase their electorate power.”
This process, she noted, is put in place by INEC to ensure inclusion and the need to encourage more women as well as to pay adequate attention to issues around women.
President Women in Politics Forum,(WPF)Ebere Ifendu,reiterated the need for women to get their voters card to vote men out of power,also carve a niche for themselves.
Ifendu said “Men are going to loose their seat as they have refused to provide a space for the women,we are not going to allow 2023 to come without women making a statement,we have qualified women that will run and win come 2023.
“We will no longer be begging because 35% affirmative action in constitution made provision for women rights, the
gender bill rejection enabled women to build a strong network,we will engage our network especially push it to the grassroot and encourage them to get their PVCs to vote the men out.
Similarly,Mufuliat Fijabi urged women to take electioneering process as serious business worthy of their time,adding the future of Nigeria’s democracy lies in the presence of women at the decision making table.
“Women have come a long way and we cannot afford to be exhausted,our presence is critical to the deepening of democratic practice in Nigeria as it is the bedrock of a principled and truly democratic tactics.
Earlier,Adetoun Sonaiya CEO Women Radio,in her welcome address reiterated the resilience of women in the struggle to gain their rightful position as the rejection of the gender Bill by the National Assembly will not deter the fight for gender inclusiveness.While encouraging women also to collaborate irrespective of their party to assist a woman win through funding, technical assistance amongst others.
Senate Aspirant Kaduna Central Senatorial zone,Talatu Shehu revealed that “the woman in the villages now know that without us speaking for them without us being there for them they can never achieve anything in Nigeria. So it is different now,the awareness is more and we are trying to make such that women will be there for themselves, irrespective of party,we will give them a run for their money and I think we are going to achieve it.”