A governorship candidate in the 2019 election in Sokoto state Hajiya Salamtu Isa Abdullahi has said the biggest lesson she learnt from the just concluded general elections is the lack of unity among womenfolk in politics.
Hajiya Salamatu was one of the two women who contested for the governorship slot in the March 9 election.
While she contested under the flag of Progressive Peoples Alliance the other female governorship candidate, Aliya Sa’idu Kebe, contested under Kowa party.
Twenty-one other female candidates from the state vied for seats in the Senate, House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly.
However, at the end of the exercise none of them was able to win.
“As a female governorship candidate, I learnt a very big lesson, the biggest lesson I learnt is that women are the enemies of ourselves. We are the biggest enemy of ourselves. Yes, we cry marginalization but when we are given the chance, we misuse it. That is the lesson I learnt,” she told Caliphate Trust in Sokoto.
She said many women voters allowed themselves to be lured with money into voting other candidates who at the end would not protect their rights.
“They allowed themselves to be used to collect money and vote for an unfavourable candidate.
“Though women really came out to vote, the only problem was that they voted for the choice of their husbands or the person they were given money to vote for. But women did come out; they constituted about 50 per cent of the voters.”
Hajiya Salamatu noted women had been complaining of marginalization but when at the just concluded general election they had the opportunity to change the situation, they failed to utilize it.
“I expected that we should at least have two or three members of the House of Assembly but from primary elections the major political parties did not even have female candidates, but some other political parties presented female candidates for all the elections.”
According to her, the situation has remained so despite efforts put in place to mobilize women to vote for women.
“We tried, we did tell them to vote for women so that their interest will be protected but they didn’t.”
She attributed it to money politics, noting that if women had had such money, they could have scaled through.
“This 2019 politics is the worst ever in the history of Nigeria in terms of vote buying and rigging,” she alleged.
She advocated for the introduction of e-voting as a viable option in subsequent elections.
Hajiya Salamatu said women in the state will not give up in seeking for elective positions.
“We will continue to mobilize, all hope is not lost.