There is no denying that women are bold, brave, intelligent, enterprising, fantastic administrators, self-disciplined, altruistic, and most of all, lovable mothers, beautiful inside and out. These qualities and many more are probably why men are so afraid to allow women in Nigeria to try to become Governor, Vice President or even President of the Federal Republic. Will women ever have a chance to reach that peak of power? Yes, they can, if they are only ready to get their act together, grab the bull by the horns and refuse to be blackmailed, intimidated, or relegated to second fiddle. Considering the recent congress of one of Nigeria’s major political parties, women still have a long way to go. Their fight for updating gender equality remains implausible and repressed. How do you explain the fact that the one lady who bought the presidential ticket and climbed her party’s primaries to compete in the 2023 election resigned at the last minute, thus shattering the trust placed in her by her peers? This action, without spewing any slander, leaves one wondering about her sincerity of purpose in the first place.

He was admirable at first when he demonstrated his confidence by deciding to accept the challenges ahead, realizing his potential and thus making it worth the purchase in the way that cost a fortune. However, along the line, no one could say what changed, only she can vouch for that, she suddenly took off her veil for herself, and according to Cicero, “if you have no self-confidence, you are twice defeated in the race”. of life. With confidence, you have won before you even started. What did she go wrong, what did she do or did she not do? How well did she prepare herself before going into this challenge? Was it just to test the waters or was it to aggrandize himself? Of course, there are many unanswered questions. She would have been nice and more honorable if she came back with a zero vote like some contenders did and it would have gone on record that she was brave and confident enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with other contenders. What a disappointment that rubbed into the ego of women.

This brings up the issue of voting and who to vote for. It is disconcerting to note that most women do not vote for their partners during elections and one wonders why. It points to the way votes are cast along party lines rather than integrity, ability and veracity, regardless of tribe and religion or party lineage. Has it ever occurred to anyone that if there is no ‘interference’ in the selection process during the election, then men may not even win a seat or probably get fewer wins if women have equal chances? The women are good at what they do and are proud of it. During electoral campaigns, it is mainly women who take the front row and ensure a successful electoral campaign, but is that what they are useful for? Do women really know their worth?

It is quite unfortunate that before any election, most of the eligible female applicants have been eliminated without any show of folly by lobbyists and even within the party, this is so egregious and should no longer be acceptable. What are men afraid of anyway? They authoritatively know that women are better managers, resourceful, focused and confident. A confidence like the one expressed succinctly by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “…that is nourished by honesty, honor, the sacredness of obligations, faithful protection and disinterested performance.” No wonder they are relegated to playing second fiddle when it comes to political hegemony. It will make sense if only women can rise to the challenge and take their rightful place without any strings attached.

In some countries of the world, it is known and seen that women have satisfactorily performed in the role of President, Prime Minister, Chancellor etc. without any blemish and where they err, they are quick and honorable enough to resign. It is well known that men overestimate themselves and do not see themselves as playing second fiddle to the opposite sex, but they tend to forget the saying ‘behind or beside every successful man, there is a woman’. In other words, it takes two to tango. Women have to work for their emancipation. Times have changed, new ideas are evolving and you need to be ready to go with the flow.

It is interesting to wonder why those aristocratic, super-rich and privileged women, especially here in Nigeria, instead of profiling and putting themselves on display, have not thought of coming together to demonstrate leadership by establishing a political academy that serves the interests of women and further to compete fairly with men. An academy that will be fully funded by them to raise, prepare, guide and mentor young women, adults and women in general, who are genuinely interested in participating and becoming successful politicians, that will bring the much-deserved changes and support for both the present as for the future. the future, but I don’t know how to start. There should be no ties or ‘godmothers’. Honestly speaking, there is always a first time for everything and you will never succeed if you don’t try. “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: what counts is the courage to continue”, according to Winston S. Churchill. So, let the wealthy and privileged women, NGOs and women’s organizations and other well-meaning Nigerian women come together, sponsor and register a “Women’s Political Training Institute” and give it their all. It may not be possible now because it will require a lot of logistics, planning, financing, and coordination, but now would be an ideal time to start fixing up these lots. Only then can all of these advocacy groups be trusted and taken seriously by showing that they are truly looking out for the interest and development of this country and not their own interest.

It sounds gonzo and laughable, true, but achievable, it’s a matter of “If you can’t run, you can crawl. If you can’t crawl, find someone to carry you,” according to Dr. Roopleen. Women and youth must be supported and encouraged by everyone, the media, corporate organizations and other well-meaning Nigerians so that this great feat can be achieved. This is in line with the view of Sheryl Sandberg, who believes that “we need women at all levels, including the highest, to change the dynamic, to reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and addressed, not overlooked and ignored.” .

Who says that women are the weaker sex? On the contrary, they are stronger, braver, enthusiastic and benevolent. They have been instrumental in so many positive changes in politics, but sadly, more often than not, due to a lack of foresight or self-esteem, they shrink back and allow their fights to be hijacked or cut short by self-serving political fanatics pretending to identify with their cause. . . These self-centered opportunists take over the fight with style and make or break the purpose for which it is intended.

This insult must stop now and women must stand up for themselves, there are too many advocacy groups and that in itself is a lot of distraction and confusion. Therefore, women must look within, organize and have the courage to save themselves from these timid detractors and allow there to be an indivisible cohesion between them. In fact, according to Nelson Mandela, “freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression… Our efforts must be about women’s liberation, men’s emancipation and the freedom of the child” .

It would warm the hearts of agitators if women would flex their muscles and show what they’re made of. What if women are the ones we need to save the world? It is about time you stop living a mediocre life, stop procrastinating, face the facts, get up and have a heart to heart talk about another course that will get you out of this current slavery. The world is big enough to accommodate everyone and what you must seek and cling to are the lofty or radical new ideas that will bring you closer to the pinnacle and mantle of power.

Women’s advocacy and lobby groups must rise to the challenge and face reality instead of this cacophony of boycotting elections if contending aspirants do not reveal their plans for women and youth before any election has been turned into rhetoric, what a silly idea. Here we are still fighting, begging, fighting and agitating for a 35 percent slot for women in politics when they can have it all.

No wonder then why Roseanne Barr opined that “what women have yet to learn is that no one empowers you. Just take it.” This writer, therefore, challenges the integrity of women activists and admonishes them, in the words of Oprah Winfrey, to “think like a queen. A queen is not afraid of failure. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness,” and creating a Political Academy that will be strictly for women, so let the preparation begin. What way do Nigerian women?

  • Olowu-Adekoya writes from Lekki, Lagos State.