By Edem Offiong
Despite the judgement delivered in favour of Nigerian women by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on April 6, 2022, regarding Affirmative Action and other gender bills brought before Justice Donatus Okorowo, there still exist glaring gender inequities in female representation within the Nigerian political space.
For instance, the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State, within the past 23 years have had only about two percent female representation. Between 1999 and 2003, under the platform of the APP, Senator Florence Ita Giwa, the only woman to have served as senator from the zone, was only able to do a single term of four years.
In 2011 -2015, Hon. Amb. Nkoyo Toyo was also able to get the ticket of the house of representatives to represent Odukpani/Calabar municipality, she did a single term of 4years before she was denied the ticket by the powers that be. Since then, from Bakassi to Biase, the zone is yet to produce a female national assembly lawmaker.
Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar south is about the only federal constituency that is yet to give a female aspirant, ticket to contest election in the federal constituency since the return of a new political dispensation in 1999.
This is why everyone, young and old, delegates and non delegates are clamoring for zoning of the PDP ticket to a woman and an indigene of Akpabuyo in particular.
The PDP needs to up their game plan by ensuring that this time around, the ticket of that federal constituency is zoned to Akpabuyo and to a woman. That way, the party will be able to mobilize the entire women voting population, who vote massively not minding the political party.
The candidature of Lady Emana Duke Amawhe therefore, will become a major master stroke in securing victory for the party at the polls come 2023. Ensuring that Lady Emana Duke emerges as candidate of the PDP will mean so much for the women folk.
Apart from the fact that it will encourage women participation in politics, Lady Emana will be a delight and shining star for Cross Riverians at the national assembly considering her wide exposure and clear understanding of the various challenges facing the nation.
PDP women at both state and national level needs to understand that this is their time. It is their time to break the cycle and unjust tradition of inequality. Cross River women must make sure that every woman they know has registered for her permanent voters card (PVC).
Come 2023, women will vote for any political party that gives them the opportunity to fly their party flag and not necessarily the tow big political parties. To secure Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Cabar south federal constituency by ensuring victory at the polls, PDP delegates must vote for the aspiration of Lady Emana Duke- Amawhe for effective and true representation.
Mr. Edem Offiong is an indigene of Calabar south LGA and a public affairs analyst. He writes from Calabar, Cross River State.