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Anambra Guber Election: The Power of Women in Decision Making

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As November 2017 draws nearer,  The time is right for Anambra women to take up leadership roles and fully participate in decision making and the governance process.

Over the years women have been relegated to the background in issues of the overall development especially in the developing nations like Nigeria. This is borne out of the sentimental attachment on feminine gender. Historical evidences are available to prove that the Nigerian women have for long been playing crucial role in political life of the country, and this has contributed in no small measure in shaping the political system of the nation. For development of any kind to be successful, a vantage position should be accorded the women, as they constitute larger proportion of the population. In this regard, they should not be left out in the issues of decision making that bothers even on their lives as a people.

 Despite the difficulties faced by women in politics, they continue with their political ambition, contributing enormously to the political and national development in their own way as the challenges militating against them are not present, although Nigeria is yet to have a female president.  Women over the years could be said to have recorded some measure of appreciable political achievement in other political fields of endeavors, meeting their political objectives with limited support and resources at their disposal.

In 1957 during the pre-independence era of Nigeria, a couple of women political activists such as, Mrs. Margaret Ekpo, Mrs. Janet Mokelu and Ms. Young were members of the Eastern House of Assembly.  The late Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, though not a full-fledged politician, was a very strong force to reckon with in the politics of the Western Region.  And Hajia Gambo Sawaba waged a fierce battle for the political and cultural emancipation of women in the North. One can say that women have always played viable political roles in Nigeria in spite of all the limitations and encumbrances.

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The Babangida era marked a turning point in the history of women struggle in Nigeria, when Maryam Babangida institutionalized the office of the first lady in 1987. She became the first working First Lady and launched the “Better Life for Rural Women” program. Other women who have made impact in the country’s political scene include, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala former minister of finance, who saved the nation records of billions of Naira as a result of her hard working nature as a public officer. Mrs. Obi Ezekwesili also laid a land mark in the history of Nigeria politics, Sen. Stella Oduah who made the aviation sector more reputable by championing the Aviation sector Master-plan and implementation Road map. Using the Master-plan and Roadmap to reconstruct & remodel over 9 airports in Nigeria, Prof Dora Akunyili also performed credibly; leading the fight against adulterated pharmaceutical drugs, her name can never be forgotten in the annals of history.
There are myriads of women in politics even presently that have done very well and are still performing excellently well.

Liberia’s head of state Ellen Johnson Sir-leaf has made history as Africa’s first female president. In the United States, Senator Hillary Clinton has made a positive impact in America’s politics. Also the Republican Party’s presidential candidate John McCain picked a woman – Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska as his running mate for the U.S election.
This could be seen as the strong factor women constitute in the political parlance of any nation.

Women politicians seeking the highest office in Anambra state have been challenged by the seeming reluctance of men who hold dominion in the state to give heed to a female chief executive of the state.

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When Senator Joy Emodi made her memorable campaign in 1998, the complaint at that time was the question on who would break kola nut at meetings presided over by the governor. Mrs. Emodi had responded that she would designate a male commissioner to be breaking kolanut.

Mrs. Emodi’s move for the governorship was only derailed by the death of Gen. Sani Abacha and the truncation of his transition programme. Following Emodi, Anambra women had luck smile on them when Dame Virgy Etiaba, who became the first female deputy governor of the state also became the first female governor of the state after the controversial removal of the substantive governor, Mr. Peter Obi in late 2006.

However, The battle seems tougher for Senator Stella Oduah, Uche Ekwunife, Hon Linda Ikpeazu,
Mrs Uchegbu Adaobi and many others as the likes of Humphrey Nwosu and Peter Obi not favorably disposed to a female governor in Anambra State but we know the victory time is now for the women.

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