By Shina Abubakar
From the innermost circle, OSUN DEFENDER has authoritatively gathered that moves are afoot to ensure that women are allocated 33 per cent of the seats to be contested for in the local government election in the state of Osun slated for January.
Inside sources said that the Osun state helmsman, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeshola is under pressure to concede the said percentage to female members of the party in line with the position of the All Progressives Congress prior to its becoming the ruling party in the country.
It was gathered that women groups within and outside the party are mounting pressure on the Governor and the Chairman of the party, Prince Gboyega Famodun to give special attention to the 33 per cent affirmative as agreed upon by all stakeholders in the nation’s political space.
Some of the women pressure groups include; Concerned Women Group, Female Aspirants, Sherifat Aregbesola Women Vanguard, among many others within the APC.
A source very close to the party secretariat confided in this medium that the party chairman is contending with many women groups on the position of the party in the forthcoming election, especially as the party has failed to meet the conditions in the previous elections in the state.
According to the source, the major concern of the various groups is the way women aspirants in the last State House and the National Assembly election in the state could not have their ways.
“It is obvious that today, the State House of Assembly members are all males, while eleven out of the twelve Federal lawmaker are all males, so, irrespective of reasons, the women are not totally happy.
It has however been gathered that the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has subscribed to the idea of giving the women the said
percentage in the councillorship slots and he has since been working towards making the dream a reality.
The groups were also not totally comfortable with the distribution of party executive positions across the state, as most of the executive committee members are males and the aggrieved female groups want to be compensated with the councillorship position in the forthcoming council poll in the state.
Speaking on the matter, the APC women leader in the state, Alhaja Kudirat Fakokunde charged women to participate en masse especially as the nomination form for the women is free and the more the women unveil their interest to contest, the better the chance for them to enjoy the 33 per cent affirmative action.
She said the party would be helpless if women did not participate in the process, hence, she sought more women participation in the process.
While describing Ogbeni as a gender sensitive man, who appreciates women participation in politics as a great priority for his government, she urged women not take part in any illegal acts that can tarnish the image of the party and their families, but to channel their grievances through the appropriate channels.
Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Secretary of Osogbo West Local Council Development Area, Alhaja Temilade Olokungboye expressed assurance that the state governor would support the affirmative action for women because he appreciates women participation in politics a lot and has publicly acknowledge their roles in his election victories.
She emphasised that the APC and the Governor are committed to making politics more attractive to women and the forthcoming election would be different from the previous elections in the state, but stressed the need for women to also show interest in the process.
However, OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the election would be too competitive for the womenfolk as most aspirants that have shown interest in the poll in many wards across the state are male while the women are still lagging behind.