The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday called for a review of gender policy and total inclusion of women in planning and implementation of electoral processes.
Deputy Director, Gender Division, INEC, Mrs Blessing Obidegwu, made this known at a Seminar on the “Review of INEC Gender Policy by External Stakeholders,’’ held in Lagos.
She said that in many countries all over the world, women continued to be marginalised and underrepresented in the political and electoral processes.
Obidegwu noted that clearly major steps needed to be taken before true gender equality was achieved.
“It is, therefore, important that Election Management Bodies (EMBs) intentionally and proactively take gender into account in the analysis and implementation of all electoral processes.
“As we all know, Nigeria is signatory to several regional, international protocols and conventions on the protection of the rights of women, including guarantees of equality of access, particularly in the area of politics.
“In spite of Nigeria being a signatory to all these instruments, Nigerian women still remain largely marginalised in all spheres of activities including governance”, she said.
Obidegwu said that one of the objectives of INEC Gender Policy was to ensure that the commission’s policies, plans and operations were gender-responsive.
She said the gender policy was also to encourage gender equity and balance within political parties, especially in the identification of candidates in line with the provision of their statutes.
Also speaking, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Lagos State, Mr Sam Olumekun, said the need to address gender issues in the context of democratic governance and pursuit of gender equality had been on the front burner of the commission.
Olumekun said that the establishment of Gender division at INEC national headquarters and Gender desks in all states showed that the commission was striving to ensure the visibility of women in electoral process.
Bayelsa: Don Chides Party Leaders For Criticising S’Court Judgement
A university don, Richard Nwokocha has said political leaders and government officials who criticise the judgment of the Supreme Courtare simply reflecting their commitment to governance.
Nwokocha, who is an Associate Professor of Public Law at the Rivers State University (RSU) stated this during a live Radio programme in Port Harcourt monitored by The Tide.
Nwokocha was reacting to the Supreme Court judgement which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his running mate and declared their opponents, the candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) winners of the recent governorship poll in Bayelsa State.
He stated, “I think the situation we are finding among our officials is a clear reflection of the poverty of our commitment to governance. It is a bit very worrisome to hear when the highest court in the land has given a judgment to hear public office holders criticising and condemning those decisions in the manner in which they do here.
“It is alright to hear citizens who do not understand the details and the intricacies of the justice system. It is alright for such citizens to vent their anger. But not public officials, not party leaders, not government officials. It is a reflection of the poverty of our commitment to the ideas of governance in this country.”
Asked if anything can be done to change that situation, Prof. Nwokocha said, “Perhaps it is a question of orientation. Maybe government should be embarrassed about it government can take steps to enlighten both government officials and institutions in the public sector on these matters. Even if it is the High Court that gives a judgement that we are not satisfied with, we should say we are not satisfied with the judgement.
“We shall approach the appellate Court to test the waters and see that that Court was right in what it said or to confirm that we are right in the hunch we have about the legitimacy of the propriety of that judgment.
Imo: Why S’Court Must Reverse Judgement – Guber Candidate
Ahead today’s hearing of Emeka Ihedioha’s appeal to the Supreme Court, the governorship candidate of Reform and Advancement Party in the 2019 governorship election in Imo State, Mr Okere Kingdom Nnamdi has advanced reasons why the apex court should reverse its earlier decision.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, yesterday the legal practitioner said the judgment was erroneously premised on results from 388 polling units when only 366 polling units’ results were admitted in the Election Petition Tribunal before being expunged at the lower courts.
He said: “It is obvious that the Supreme Court relied only on the submission of Hope Uzodinma without any reference to the records of proceedings of the Tribunal and Court of Appeal or otherwise.
“It would have realised that even though Hope Uzodinma claimed 388 polling units, he only dumped 366 discredited polling units through the police.
“Yet, the Supreme Court unilaterally credited him with figures from the 388 units which figures didn’t remove the 20 or even 22 polling units that were in fact not tendered before the tribunal.”
Speaking further, he said the judgment did not consider zoning and federal character. He said Owerri zone is being marginalised. He lamented that since 1999 the zone is yet to produce a governor.
He said: “Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, our brothers from Orlu zone have occupied the governorship position of the state and some crude political elements are derogating our sense of belonging.
“Both Uzodinma and Rochas Okorocha is from the same zone. This certainly breaches the principles of federal character, equity and fairness contained in the APC constitution.”
Govs Congratulate Mrs Buhari On Birthday …Laud Her Contributions
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has congratulated the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, as she celebrated her birthday, yesterday while lauding her contributions to the promotion of quality health care and girl child education.
The forum through its Chairman and Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong congratulated the first lady in a statement released to newsmen, yesterday in Jos.
The statement was signed by the governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham.
He said through her collaborations with her colleagues globally, Mrs Buhari had advocated for girl-child education, healthcare improvement, tackling gender-based violence and advocating for women rights. .
“As the mother of the nation, you have done so much to impact the lives of the vulnerable and less-privileged persons in our society through your compassionate programmes.
“Your Future Assured Programme and Get Involved Campaign have become vehicles of goodwill and hope to women, children and other needy persons across the country as you continue to mobilise resources to support their well-being,”the chairman said
He also commended Mrs Buhari for being a role model for the wife of governors to emulate in conceiving programmes that would help vulnerable people in their states.
He said the first lady through the Aisha Buhari Foundation is mobilising resources to take care of street children, the elderly and homeless, describing it as a noble cause.
The chairman prayed for good health, divine protection, and wisdom for the first lady as she continues to support the president to serve the nation.
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