The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has accused major political parties in the country of being unfair to womenfolk in the just concluded primary elections preparatory to 2019 general elections.
Mrs Gloria Shoda, the president of the council, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the actions of political parties in the primaries discouraged women from participating further in the electoral process.
“We assembled all women aspirants and party leaders in a summit where we discussed and they agreed to give the women a soft landing.
“This, however, was not adhered to by the political parties as the cost of nomination forms and violence that ensued at the primaries did not allow women to come out to vote.
“Beside this, I don’t see how a woman will be able to get N12 million not to talk of N45 million for nomination form for presidency in the case of the People’s Democratic Parties (PDP) and All Progressives Alliance (APC), respectively.
“I watched the just concluded primaries with keen interest; the first thing that struck my mind was the amount women were asked to pay for the nomination forms,’’ she said.
Shoda said that it was worrisome that the APC had no concession for women, asking: “How do they expect women to feel?
“We hear that the PDP had some concession for women. Women were only asked to pay expression of interest form which was reasonable because women are not moneybags.
“Some political parties did not even collect money at all from women to encourage them to participate in the electoral process.
“This means that the big parties do not want women to participate in the electoral process further because making nominations forms costly means that women will not participate,’’ she observed.
But NAN reports that the wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari, recently assured the women aspiring for elective positions on the platform of All Progressives Congress of her support to achieve the 35 per cent affirmative action for women.
Mrs Buhari gave the assurance when the newly elected APC National women leaders and their women wing in the 36 states and FCT paid her a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The group including women leaders of North-Central, North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West and South-South were led to the Presidential Villa by the National Woman Leader of APC, Mrs Salamatu Baiwa.
The wife of the president maintained that women were responsible for the successes recorded in many elections in Nigeria.
“It is time to start mobilisation of women at the grassroots level because women are responsible for the successes of every elections in Nigeria’’ she said.
Mrs Buhari urged the APC women to always respect the constitution of the party and called on them to continue to support the APC administration.
Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam (NAN)