By Ezeocha Nzeh
Ahead of 2019 general elections, a political pressure group, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Thursday slammed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the outcome of its primaries, alleging that the party reject majority of the women that aspired for elective offices under its platform.
WIPF therefore threaten to drag the APC and other major political parties to court over what it described as unequal representation in elective positions and other sundry issues.
The women who protested yesterday in Abuja expressed their disappointment over what they described as the intimidations, harassments, financial inducements the APC and other major parties meted on the women aspirants.
Convener of the Forum, Barr Ebere Ifendu, who addressed newsmen, lamented that apart from paying half of the stipulated amount to buy the Expression of Interest Forms for elective positions, the women aspirants were subjected to various degrees of humiliation and degrading treatments during the primaries.
“Since 1999, inclusion, participation and representation of women in politics have been undermined both in policy and practice. The political climate has largely been dominated by a foray of dispassionate politics of intimidation, threats, violence against women in politics and elections.
“In retrospect to the political parties’ primaries concluded on October 7, 2018 in line with INEC’s schedule for the 2019 General elections, a scrutiny into the processes and methodologies leading up to the primaries is important to be considered and evaluated.
“WIPF shares deep concerns and reservation about the conduct of the primaries as quite a number of the women aspirants were faced with intimidation, harassment and threats to their persons and properties in their aspirations into various positions.
“Though all Political Parties are affected, the case of the ruling APC is not acceptable. At the Women Aspirants Advocacy Summit organized by the Women in Politics Forum, the NCWS and in collaboration with the office of the wife of the President, women were encouraged to contest.
“We had cases of imposition, violence, intimidation and outright lock out of women in Plateau, Edo, Ondo, Kogi, Imo, Niger, Ekiti States. We thank the leadership of the party in Adamawa for giving two senatorial tickets to women.
“WIPF condemns in strong terms this development and demands for an immediate action from all stakeholders to put this to an end and urges all stakeholders to act to save Nigeria’s democracy from losing the gains made over the years and from a complete exclusion of women, youths and persons with disabilities.”