From Mohammed Ibrahim, Kaduna
State Independent Electoral Commission, SIECOM Kaduna State, has tasked women on the need to seek political offices as well as joining political parties of their choice, saying it’s high time women stopped allowing themselves to be exploited by male politicians.
SIECOM Head of Voters’ Education, John Bulus, made the statement at a training workshop on the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Law organized by a Non-Governmental Organization named Women in NEED Foundation in Kaduna at the weekend.
Bulus, who represented the commission’s chairman, said what women need is motivation and encouragement to join political parties of their choice and ensure they work for the success of their election.
“Women should desist from the habit of being lured by politicians and giving them food items to vote for them; instead they should stand on their own and participate for true development,” he said.
On the postponement of the State Local Government Election, earlier Scheduled for this month, he said, “SIECOM can’t operate without laws; and I can tell you 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 programmes to enable the electorates in Kaduna State to know more about the device,” he said.
In her remarks, Executive Director, Women in NEED Foundation, Barrister Abiola Kamardeen, said the purpose of the workshop is not just to mobilize women for political participation, but to ensure they have the necessary skills that will ensure that success is achieved.
“Today’s workshop is a follow up to the foundations’ previous visits to various communities within Kaduna state, and the aim is to educate women on the Nigerian Constitution and the issue regarding the Electoral Laws, and to develop their inner and outer skills to enable them be part of electoral process”, Barrister Kamardeen explained.
Many women she said have shown keen interest in seeking for elective offices come 2019 election. Kaduna state promises more women participation in lection come 2019. She added.
“We are encouraging the women that 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 need to do is to ensure that she have all it takes and that is why we are sensitizing them”.
“With support from every level, a woman becomes stronger and then she has the ability to actually come out to be voted for, so it is not something that will come from the moon, so they have to struggle for a space.
Also presenting a paper on the Constitution, Barrister Sidikat Adegboye said that there are many factors militating against women’s participation in the electoral process in Nigeria.
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.