A human rights lawyer and the Executive Director of Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) has called on Nigerian women to form a political party to organize themselves to take political power and determine the quality of life they deserve.
Tietie made this call while addressing questions and comments during the Policy Dialogue on “Setting the Agenda for Women and Electoral Politics in 2023”, hosted by the Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD) in Abuja with a high powered panel consisting of Hon. Fatoumata Tambajang, Former Vice President of The Gambia, Dr Sintiki Ugbe, Director, Humanitarian and Social Affairs, ECOWAS and Barr. Ebere Ifendu, President Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Nigeria.
Tietie who is also the publisher of Law Times (lawtimes.ng) and convener of the Citizens Political Action Committee (C-PAC), commended Ebere Ifendu for her qualitative consistency and sterling advocacy in pushing for the recognition of women’s rights in governance in Nigeria. He however wondered aloud why Ebere hadn’t put as much effort and resources into the formation of a political party since there is no law that precludes her from doing so.
According to Tietie, “ Nigerian women are very powerful politically. That is the secret politicians are keeping from them. The male-dominated political class in Nigeria knows that the day women organize themselves to form a political party, many of them will lose their jobs which they have been doing so badly after all. Imagine Nigerian women asking for gender parity and the application of the 35% affirmative principle in governance and the Nigerian National Assembly had the effrontery to throw away their bill? Nigerian women should no longer protest or negotiate. They should just form a political party and sack many of those politicians who are still living with a stone-age mentality”
Barr. Ifendu’s response was that they had actually as women tried a number of times to form a political Nigeria but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had raised objections that an all-women political party is not registrable in Nigeria but Tietie countered that position as faulty and highly unconstitutional for INEC to derogate from Nigerian women’s rights under Section 40 of the Constitution to form a political party.
The Policy Dialogue which was moderated by CDD’s Senior Programmes Officer, Austin Aigbe, elicited a number of innovative suggestions from experts on ways Nigerian women can excel and win elective positions in the coming 2023 Geneara elections in Nigeria.
Francis Madugu, Deputy Country Director, Programs of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) gave an adept analysis of issues around political parties, women mobilization and campaign financing that can help the strategic involvement of women politicians in the coming elections.
It has always been Tietie’s concept that since Nigerian women have often associated the orange colour to symbolise many of their advocacies in the past, they should adopt it as the name of their political party. And when the party is formed he would register along with other males as members, even though he realised that the men would be in the minority in such a political party.
The high point of the Policy Dialogue was the launch of a political manual in three series, titled: ‘Getting Women Elected-Challenges and Opportunities’. The launch of the manual is part of the activities of CDD to mark 20 years of Democracy in Nigeria.