Tuesday, January 18

Anambra poll: Collaboration, not confrontation key to winning election – INEC tells women

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra state has charged women to be part of the electoral process ahead of the November 6 governorship election.

The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji who made the call on Saturday in Awka at town hall meeting for women, described them as special breeds who could not be neglected in the scheme of things, including politics.

Orji, represented by Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Samuel Nimem, however cautioned them against being confrontational with their male counterparts but to see their participation more as cooperation and collaboration.

He said, “Women are special breeds. In our records, we have more registered women than men, meaning you can’t be neglected in the scheme of things, including politics. Infact, it’s foolhardy to neglect them.

“But you must identify with the process before you can be identified. You can’t be a minister of women of Affairs on a platter of gold. Besides, you need to love yourselves. We’ve seen where women leave their fellow women to vote for men during elections.

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“You also need to be discouraged. You’re not struggling anything with men. It’s better you view it from the angle of cooperation and not equality. You don’t get what you want by being confrontational.”

Earlier, Deputy Director, Gender Relations Division, Gender and Inclusivity Department of INEC, Mrs. Osuji Chika said the Commission had stepped up action on voter education, including organising women to effectively participate in all aspects of the electoral process.

She revealed that a total of 1,272,293 female voters have registered out of the 2,525,471 total registered votes, but regretted that no female governorship aspirants indicated interest in the race.

She listed the objectives of the forum to include providing opportunity for INEC to dissiminate information on role of women in the election and platform to interact and proffer solutions to possible envisaged challenges confronting women in the state.

“The forum is also to sensitize women on their role as mothers to bear the brunt of most of the violence in elections to disuade their children from being used as political thugs by politicians.

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“To sensitize women on ways of engaging the political class for better outcome that will meet their needs,” she added.

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