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2023:  Aghoghovbia Appeals For Government Support Of Women In Politics

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As the People’s  Democratic party (PDP) primaries draw near, Chief Mrs Grace Aghoghovbia has said women constitute at least half of Nigeria’s population, adding that they make important and largely unacknowledged contributions to economic life and play crucial roles in all spheres of society.

She said “Despite Nigeria’s long history of political parties, very few Nigerian women have held political offices either elected or appointed.”

However, it is no longer fashionable to attest that the foundation upon which the People’s Democratic Party has thrived since its welcome to democracy has been the three-legged pillar which is Equity, Fairness and Progress. This template has been copied by opposition parties, all
in a bid to attain the enviable height the party has achieved since its formation in 1999. The party has shown times and again that it is all-embracing and open to new possibilities in its aspiration to remain arguably Africa’s largest political party. It is, for this reason, it welcomed women involvements in politics.

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Aghoghovbia noted that Nigeria and especially  Delta State is in dare need of female representation  in positions of authority. “We are all aware of the success stories women have achieved within the three tiers of government. Gone are the days when passive participation of democratic dispensation, has been ticipation of women in the nation’s political parties and policy-making bodies suggests that women’s role in politics begins and ends in ‘the other room’. That Sarah Jibril stood tall amongst men of equal standing to
contest for the PDP’s primary, where she garnered as paltry as 4 votes, points to the fact that gender inclusiveness is gradually being injected into the DNA of the People’s Democratic Party.

Nevertheless, while she carried her cross alone, her small victory and writing her name in History books have emboldened other women to pick up where she left. A lesson well learn, that women need all the support they can get to achieve parity in political inclusiveness.

Recently,  Senator Dr.  Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who is fondly called ‘Ekwueme and Road Master’, by his admirers, has been at the forefront of promoting the goals of gender inclusiveness by attaining the 35% affirmative action for women in elective and appointive offices. This is aside from several women empowerment programs geared towards providing financial independence and stability for women. Remarkably, the election of 17 women as Local Government Vice-Chairmen out of 25 Local
Government Areas in Delta State is not only historic, it is unprecedented in the political history of Delta State and indeed Nigeria.

This has been made possible by his firm and visionary position as the leader who continues to insist and ensure that women are fully represented and integrated as key players in the scheme of governance and leadership in the State.

Commendably, it is worthy of note that while the National Gender Policy (NGP) has formulated a 35% Affirmative Action (AA) for women in Nigeria since 2006, what Ekwueme has done in
Delta State is already 68% and has far surpassed the recommendation of the policy. ”

This achievement could only have been delivered by astute and strategic vision, firm, determined and courageous leadership, however, as we approach the 2023 elections, the question persists, should the women in our great party rest on their oars thinking they have ‘arrived’? isn’t there room to consolidate on these aforementioned successes? If so, why not make a case for a speakership position or better still the Governorship or Deputy Governorship position? Are these goals not achievable in this
present dispensation?

Remarkably, it is worthy of note that the women of Delta state have been tried and tested politicians who have showed time and again they can run for the highest political offices.
Women such as Mrs Evelyn Ojakovo, Hon Princess Adjudua, Hon Faith Majemite, Hon Dr.Chief Eunice Okoh, Barr Mrs Taiga, Barr Benedicta Osakuni, Hon Mrs Take Ibori-Suene, the new ‘Kids on the Block’ like Chief Mrs Shimite Bello, Mrs Marilyn Okowa-Daramola, Barr. Bridget Anyafulu and a host of others, who have held the Umbrella firmly to accommodate others with proven successive track records, clearly points to the reality that they are mentally, spiritually and psychologically prepared to ‘take it to the next level’

All politics they say is local, these women have the financial war chest, as well as the grassroots credibility from their community of domicile,
for the great party, all elective positions aspired for. They havetheir constituencies on ‘lockdown’, anytime and day, the electorates and party members have faithfully followed them
all through these years. That the Governor attests to these facts, only goes a long way to show how highly esteemed they are held.
As the 2023 elections gain momentum, there is no doubt Ekwueme has achieved lots in terms of human and capital infrastructure.

“Asaba is now rapidly growing to a city worthy of it as a result of the efforts Okowa  put in to ensure that development is achieved in all sectors of the state.

Nevertheless, to
whom much is given, even more, is expected. The women have stood by him through thick and thin through this successful journey. Therefore, as he begins to wind up this chapter and open a new one, the best legacy he can leave is supporting the women in producing either a governorship position, a deputy governor  or speakership position. With this, his name would echo in the hearts and memory of the people and history will be kind to him. If The role of women in deciding who ascend elective positions in the previous election is anything to go by, I think it is high time the women joined in the conversation to be elected in the top three positions of the state. Women, as we move into the week of Primaries, I want to use this opportunity to wish you
all the very best of luck,’ Aghoghovbia said.

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