Nigerian women were able to lend their voices to the discourse on anti-corruption and accountability during an array of events which began with a two-day training for women in political parties were organized by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) in partnership with Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternatives (WRAPA), and with support from MacArthur Foundation on institutionalizing anti- corruption and accountability from a gender perspective. The events took place in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on 29 – 31 October 2018.
The training which had participants from different political parties ushered in a new orientation of strategic networking beyond party lines for women in political parties in the state. It enabled a learning platform for participants to understand accountability and anti-corruption from a gender perspective and its implications the National Development. The Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi while speaking during a session on “Networking for Accountability Purposes within Political Parties” emphasized that women need to take strategic steps to earn strategic achievements. She further explained that participating and understanding the right instruments like party constitution and manifestos will help to enshrine women’s rights in political parties and their effective contributions to accountability. She urged that tokenized position of the “Woman Leader” can be strengthened if women leaders across political parties work together to form a formidable network that champions the attainment of affirmative action for women.
A stakeholder’s interface themed: ‘Institutionalizing Anti-corruption and accountability from a Gender Perspective’ held on 31 October 2018 at state level. It was organized to open up the space for democratic discussions needed to define national priorities and agree on pathways for transformative change through accountability. The Chief Executive Officer of the NWTF, Mrs. Mufuliat Fijabi during her welcome remarks restated that Gender and Accountability Project (Project GAP) aims to encourage women to demand for greater political accountability especially as it relates to gender concerns. While setting the agenda for the event, she stated that the lack of accountability and anti-corruption is a contributory factor to gender inequality, the non-inclusive nature of Nigeria’s democracy and its stunted economic growth. She re-emphasized that the implementation of anti-corruption measures and accountability of government institutions is critical for any effective implementation of gender equity commitments at the national, regional and international levels. Quoting her, “Unaccountability of a government and the citizens affect the core principles of democracy, the rule of law and the fulfillment of human rights. With the unequal gender relations in society, women and girls are in many settings more exposed to corruption and its consequences and are subjects and objects of different corrupt practices and behaviors” she submitted.
During the goodwill messages, Mr. Mutiu Agboke- INEC’s State Resident Electoral Commissioner, urged political parties to ignite deliberate actions for women by nominating them as candidates into elective positions and as well support them to win. He concluded by stressing INEC’s commitment to ensuring an accountable electoral process as the Nation looks forward to the 2019 General Elections. Goodwill messages were also delivered by Mr. David Oluwale- Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) mentioned that Civil Organizations should demand on accountability. In a similar statement, Mr. Ayo Oyewole – Head Affairs, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) stressed the need for International Communities to help Nigeria in its fight against corruption. Other messages were received form foremost religious and academic scholars.
The event is expected to provide a road map for turning gender equality promises into actions that support accountable governance through strategic partnership and networks in the state.