Ondo State First Lady and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has demanded for a deputy governor’s slot for women in Imo State, saying that women are intentionally being suffocated due to sexism and prejudice particularly in Imo State.
Speaking to The Nation in an exclusive interview, Mrs. Akereledolu, who contested the senatorial primaries of the APC for Owerri Zone, noted that women were suffocated politically in the just concluded elections in the state, adding that nothing short of a deputy governorship position would be acceptable to women in the next government.
“It is scandalous that Imo State, one of the educationally advanced states in Nigeria, is intentionally being suffocated politically due to prejudice against women.
While acknowledging the boldness of some Northern women vying for governorship position, she said their counterparts in Imo lack the audacity to contest even council chairman because of men’s intimidation.
“While Northern women are bold and daring, vying for governorship positions, Imo women lack the audacity to even contest for local government chairman because the knees of the men are on their necks. They are the ‘George Flyods’, they cannot breathe!
“Given my experience during the APC senatorial primaries, I say without any equivocation that Imo women have become endangered species on the Nigerian political landscape!”
Mrs. Akereledolu who spoke through telephone conversation, noted: “All the three Senators-elect for the three Senatorial Districts in Imo State [simply called Owerri, Okigwe, Orlu zones] are male. None is a female. This means that the voice of Imo women will not be heard in the Senate of the Federation for four years beginning from the time they will be inaugurated in June 2023 to their end of tenure in 2027.
“Meanwhile, none of the serving three Senators in Imo State is female. By the way, it was only in 2007 that Imo State elected the first female Senator, Senator Chris Anyanwu of Owerri Zone who served two terms between 2007 and 2015.”
“Out of the ten newly elected members of the House of Representatives in the ten constituencies in Imo State, only one is female. Meanwhile, there is only one serving female member of the House of Representatives out of the ten presently in office from Imo State,” she said.