Kaduna State to witness a new political dawn as grass root women gather momentum for 2019 election —WINEED
Zainab Tanimu –Kaduna, NIGERIA
With the increase of grass root women participation in politics in Kaduna state, political pundits are beginning to sense a new wind of change in the polity of Kaduna state come 2019 election.
The Executive Director, Women in NEED Foundation, Barrister Mrs. Abiola Kamardeen, who have been working tirelessly with her team said it would no longer be business as usual as many women from the grass root would dominate the Local Government election come 2019 election. Her foundation she said has not only been able to encourage them on the need to contribute their quota to the development of the society but putting them through all the nifty- gritty of an election which is yielding fruits as many have indicated interest to vie for elective offices come 2019.
This was disclosed during a training workshop on the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Law organized by the Foundation at the Conference Hall, Atiku Abubakar House in Kaduna.
The workshop she explained was a follow up to the foundations’ previous visits to various communities within Kaduna state. The aim she said was not just to mobilize the women for political participation but also to educate them on the Nigerian Constitution and the issue regarding the Electoral Laws with a view to developing their inner and outer skills to enable them be part of electoral process”.
“ There is nowhere it is written, either traditionally or religiously, even under the constitution that a woman should not contest, it is an open field. All a woman needs to do is to ensure that she has all it takes to be part of the game and that is why we are sensitizing them”.
The woman has the ability. With support coming from every level, a woman becomes stronger and then comes out to be voted for. It is not something that will come from the moon. They have to struggle for a space and so we are encouraging them to fully participate”.
The Head of Voters’ Education, Mr. John Bulus who represented the commission’s chairman, while addressing the women touched on the issue of motivation. He said women need to be motivated and encouraged to join political party of their choice and making them to understand the need to work for their success in an election.
Women he said should desist from the habit of being lured by politicians and giving them food items to vote them in. Rather they should stand on their own and participate for true development.
Speaking on the cancellation of the Local Government Election, he said the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission, SIECOM cancelled the Local Government Election formally scheduled for 22nd of December, 2017 in order to incorporate the electronic voting system into the state electoral laws. As soon as the laws are ready, the commission will conduct elections into the various Local Government Areas in Kaduna state. He assured.
“SIECOM cannot operate without laws. That is the situation we find ourselves, trying to have laws that we can operate on to conduct the Local Government Elections across the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
“The introduction of the voting system in Kaduna state is towards achieving free, fair and credible elections. I can assure you that the machines are ready for use and before the election, the commission is going to do more enlightenment programs to enable the electorates in Kaduna state to know more about the device”.
Also presenting a paper on the Constitution, Barrister Mrs. Sidikat Adegboye said that there are many factors militating against women’s participation in the electoral process in Nigeria.
While speaking, she identified culture and religion as the factors that keep women out of politics, saying that the constitution does not allow for discrimination of women participation in politics, and therefore women should scale up and develop their skills for participation. She stressed the importance of them knowing their fundamental human rights and how to go about protecting it when they are trampled upon.
“ If you do not know what the law is saying, how would you be able to go about achieving your aspirations as an aspirant? She asked.
Some of the women who already are eyeing some of the offices in their local government areas come 2019 election shared their experiences. The moves they are making already is yielding some dividends they confessed.
Mrs. Rahila John (Narayi Ward, Chukun LGA)
When the ambition came to me, l gathered my family members and told them. They all blessed me. I went to see my pastor, met with elders in the community, gathered my EXCOs and presented myself to them for the office of Councilor. I have an NGO that l teach the making of liquid soap etc. By God’s grace l would make it.
Hajiya Aisha Abdulkareem, (Sabon Gari, Munchia Ward)
I have decided to seek for the seat of Councillorship because l have observed that men do things without carrying the women along. You see, we women are many. It is people in my community that actually wants me to be there. Insha Allah l would not fail them. My people are with me. My husband has no problem with that.
Mrs Helen Burge (Jama’a Ward)
I saw a vision and l put it in prayers. The vision repeated itself so l told my husband. My husband said, since the vision has repeated itself, let us pray. So we prayed and said if it is the Lord’s doing l will be there. I have gotten my own membership card from the party of my choice. I have met with community leader, went and introduced myself to the chief. I have support of more than 200 women in an organization l introduced to my community. So, l am waiting for what the lord would do.
Hajiya Fatima Umar (Chukun LG, Sabon Gari Nasarawa)
I am going to contest for councillorship. I have made my intention known to people in my community. I have contacted my fellow women. They are supporting me and my husband is aware.
Hajiya Hauwa Abubakar (Makrfi LG )
I am going for Councillorship. My husband is in agreement. Why l am contesting is because l want to help on the issue of under -age marriages which have been disturbing me. Also, to look at challenges of women and see how l can help. For example, many of our women are not doing something. Want to teach them skills that they can use to survive.