Low female candidacy again is trailing the Edo governorship election.  Based on the release by the   Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), on 18 July 2020, the number of female candidates is low. The release shows that the published final list of candidates eligible to participate in the September 19th governorship election in Edo State has only four female candidates. Of the 14 political parties published by the commission, 12 of the 14 governorship candidates are male while two are female. It also showed that only two of the deputy governorship candidates are female. The two female Governorship candidates are Mabel Oboh of African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Agol Tracy of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), while the two female deputy governorship candidates are Mogbelehan Pauline of Labour Party (LP) and Omion Omonye of Social Democratic Party (SDP).  

Just like many previous elections both off cycle and general elections, none of the two leading political parties (APC and PDP) is fielding any female candidate either as governorship or deputy governorship candidates. This is in spite of the affirmative action clauses in their parties’ statute. The low representation of women in politics is most likely to remain the bane of political participation in Nigeria if conceited effort is not made to aggressively address the situation. There is therefore an urgent need for the government and relevant stakeholders to intensify action on electoral reform including the electoral act with provisions for political parties to implement 35 percent  affirmative action in the selection of committee members, party leadership, and candidates. Women should be encouraged to contribute meaningfully to nation-building because no country is said to be developed without the equal participation of both men and women.

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