DELTA 2015: THE GENDER DIMENSION

By Eberechi Kennedy
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There is no gainsaying the fact that President Jonathan's confidence in Nigerian women has not been misplaced. Some of his administration's greatest achievements, since he came into office, have been in Ministries, Parastatals and Departments manned by women. Thanks to the political re-awakening and awareness contained in the President's National Gender Policy as part of his transformation agenda.

The expression of the will of the Nigerian women to continue to impact in socio-political development both nationally and internationally recently attained a new height. This was evident at the 166th meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conference in Vienna wherein Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is currently Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, was elected as OPEC's President making her the first female president of the oil cartel.

As such, Alison-Madueke's feat underscores the fact that women have great potentials to contribute meaningfully to the development of their country and the world at large. Willingly, despite the difficulties faced by women in politics, they have continued with their political ambition, contributing enormously to the political and national development in their own way.

One of such women who wants to make history in the 2015 gubernatorial elections is Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme who is already riding on the crest of the desire of the people of Delta State for real change. Like Diezani Alison-Madueke, she is a woman of national significance and influence and most analysts are finding it difficult to write her off going by her unprecedented political profile and her closeness to the most power­ful segment of the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party. More so, she is the leading aspirant from the Delta North Senatorial zone which has never produced the state governor since inception. So the social justice pendulum and the will of the masses swing favourably and posi­tively towards Dr. (Mrs.) Olejeme more than the other compatriots from her Senatorial zone that have indicated interest to run in the next year's election for the office of the state governor of Delta State.

Since her endorsement as the frontline candidate by all the relevant stakeholders within the state and the country at large ahead of the PDP primaries, this boardroom guru and administrator of excellence has been besieged with challenges of which discrimination is top. Majority of the men more on chauvinistic disposition are preoccupied with the notion that decision making is exclusively for the men folk while women are to be instructed on what to do. This idea of seeing the women playing the number two role at homes has come to play itself out in the political life of the people. This ought not to be so with regards to the ever dynamic nature of things globally as women are now seen in the international community as critical players in nation building.

Be that as it may, Diezani being the first woman to chair OPEC gives emphasis to the fact that beyond investing in women economically, investing in them politically is the gateway to greater feats and recognition of Nigeria in the international community. So, investing in Dr Olejeme; a woman of substance could be the wheel to sustaining the 'Delta beyond Oil roadmap'.

No doubt, women are blazing the trail as is seen in the likes of Dr. Okonjo Iweala, Professor Joy Okwu, Late Professor Dora Akunyili, etc; but a greater responsibility of the office of a state governor should be entrusted unto them also. As such, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme is set to make history in Delta State and should be given the necessary support. It is therefore another defining historical moment of political realism, of realignments and bridge building to secure a greater Delta for the coming generation. Today's decisions have got far reaching implications for our future both as a people and as a state, but first we await the outcome of the Peoples' Democratic Party's primaries.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Eberechi Kennedy and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."