More commendations have continued to pour in for Nigerian women following last week’s election victory of four indigenous Nigerians to the United Kingdom Parliament.
Based on reports by VON, the latest of such compliments came from former Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Ms. Ayisha Osori who believes that the election success of four Nigerians in the UK, demonstrated that Nigerians, especially the women are very intelligent, adaptive and committed to the course of any society they find themselves.
Osori said this in an interview with Voice of Nigeria while reacting to the outcome of the UK election, where three Nigerian women and a man won seats to represent their constituencies in Westminster.
Ms. Osori who failed to win her party’s nomination for Nigeria’s parliamentary election in the Federal Capital Territory constituency held earlier in the year, said Nigerians at home and in the diaspora must learn some crucial lessons from the UK experience.
“For me it would mean that Nigerians who live and work there, have now a chance to have representation that sort of reflect them and their values and what they aspire to and what they want to achieve. I would see it as a very good role model such that one, everybody shoule take part in their political space, actively get involved and want to represent your people wherever you live.
“And two, the most important story for us is that now you know that being not from there in quote doesn’t really matter but you can still get up and stand especially if you have the values that voters want, they would vote for you. Back home, the lesson for me is more, can we see how it works in more developed societies where the values that the politicians who seek to represent their people are bringing far out-ways the colour of their skin, what language they speak and how they worship.
Those things should be irrelevant because if you reside in a place, you pay your taxes there, you have roots there, and then you should care about that place. So for me as a Nigerian the core lesson is to adapt and embrace wherever you are”.
According to her, having more Nigerian women in the UK Parliament speaks volume about the excellent values and attribute of the average Nigerian woman in all spheres of life, particularly in politics and governance. She also condemned the dwindling fortunes of women politicians in Nigeria as demonstrated by the 2015 elections outcome.
“For me, Nigerian women are capable wherever they are in the world. The number of women representatives in the National Assembly is dropping. It has gone from 9% in 2007 to 7% in 2011 and now 5.32%, it’s abysmally low. Even the average in Africa is 22% for women in parliament. We are now reducing and dropping by the day.
“So for me the key message is that if our country will not appreciate women and the values that they bring, other societies will, and we continue to cry about the brain drain, people leaving the country”, she stressed.
The women rights advocate also condemned the role that money plays in Nigerian politics, encouraging a situation which she said relegates the values and integrity of people who genuinely want to serve their fatherland.