Statement on the Just Concluded Political Parties’ Primaries and the Gender Implication for Nigeria’s Democracy.
Political Parties’ primaries were concluded on 7 October 2018 in line with INEC’s schedule for the 2019 General elections. The primaries ordinarily should reflect democratic gains over the years especially since the return of Nigeria to democratic process in 1999. Most significant is the fact that it should have been an opportunity for political parties to demonstrate their commitment towards an inclusive democratic process in Nigeria.
A lot of mixed feelings have trailed the conduct of the primaries. Gender and Election Watch observed the pattern of participation by both men and women as voters and as aspirants and have deep concerns and reservation about the conduct of the primaries as quite a number of the women aspirants were faced with intimidation, harassment and threats to their persons and properties in their aspirations into various positions. The primaries were also not truly reflective of democratic principles of fairness as some of the women were asked to step down under threats and intimidation for candidates who have not been part of the process before. The intensity with which voters who participated in the primaries were induced and very well reported by the media was quite undemocratic. This is not just a threat to women who are the most vulnerable but men as well.
Gender and Election Watch condemns in strong terms this development and demands for an immediate action from all stakeholders to put this to an end and urges all stakeholders to act to save Nigeria’s democracy from losing the gains made over the years and from a complete exclusion of women, youths and persons with disabilities.
Gender and Election Watch calls on all political parties to be more democratic in their pursuit of power and positions.
Gender and Election Watch commends, greatly the boldness of women who stood tall during the primaries and calls on the security agencies to give special protection to women who are still under threats following the primaries.
The Gender and Election Watch (GEW) is an initiative of Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF)’s aimed at observing and analyzing the participation of women compared to men in elections through election observation from a gender perspective.
Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room
Hotlines: +234-9062782771, 9062782772, 9062782773
8 October 2018