2023: U.S government, NDI promise to support women in politics

The U.S. Government and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) promised to support Nigerian women aspiring for political offices in the 2023 General Elections.

The U.S. and the NDI expressed their support at the 2022 Women Aspirants’ Summit organised in Abuja by Women Radio, 100 Women Lobby Group, Women in Politics Forum, and Nigerian Women Trust Fund.

Reports state that various women aspiring for political positions at the local, state, and federal levels across the states and different political parties attended the occasion.

In a goodwill message, Dr. Stephen Snook, Resident Country Director and Chief of Party of NDI, said they are committed to supporting women’s courses in Nigerian politics.

“Ahead of the 2023 General Elections, NDI looks forward to supporting initiatives to increase women’s representation in Nigeria.” Snook, represented by Mrs. Annabel Ugwoke, said the NDI had supported democratic institutes and civil society organisations in Nigeria for over two decades, and inclusion is at the heart of our core programs.

He said from 2016 to 2020, the organisation implemented a programme called “Women in Politics,” which supported female aspirants to navigate the formal and informal party nomination processes.

He said it also enlisted support from political influencers for women’s political representation in seven states – Adamawa, Anambra, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Lagos.

“An outcome of the programme was that two women were elected into Kaduna and Adamawa State Assemblies and another aspirant became a local government chairperson in Enugu,” he said.

The representative of the U.S. Embassy at the event, Amanda Whatkey, said; however, Nigerian women face a lot of challenges in the political space, the embassy was ready to support them.

Whatkey said the embassy acknowledged the challenges they face and recognised their efforts at overcoming them.

She commended the summit organizers and said women’s participation in the summit is critical to the development of democracy.
Okewale-Sonaiya urged the women to put sentiment aside and commit themselves to supporting women aspirants come 2023 polls. She advised women to learn how to use media power, the newly signed Electoral Act, etc., to their advantage.
The National Coordinator, 100 Women Lobby Group, Felicia Onibon, said it was time for women to raise their voices. She described Nigerian women as strong, hardworking, and intelligent.

Onibon appreciated those women coming out again to contest for elective positions; she encouraged them not to relent in their efforts.

The President of the Women in Politics Forum, Ebere Ifendu, stressed that the 2023 elections could not come without women making a statement.

Also speaking, the CEO of Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Mufuliat Fijabi, said. However, women in politics face challenges: “we will not stop being part of the governance process in Nigeria.”

Some women aspirants who spoke about their intention to vie for election come 2023 include Ada-Ezinne Chukwu, a presidential aspirant on the platform of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, a presidential aspirant on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’ ss platform, CesnabmihiloNuhu-Aken’Ovaa, a presidential aspirant on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Filia Henshaw-Etim, a Cross River governorship aspirant on PDP’s platform, Hyellagiziya Naiwa Fakuta who is aspiring to contest for an election into Gombi/Hong Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, among others.

NAN/E/Temitope O.
2023: U.S government, NDI promise to support women in politics

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