Three of the governorship candidates running in Saturday’s election in Bayelsa State are women, representing a low 6.6 per cent female inclusion rate. The three women are under-48.
Seiyefa Eches, 47, is the candidate of DPC, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree, according to information obtained from the electoral body, INEC.
The other two are 37-year-old Oguara Nengimonyo of the DPP and 43-year-old Blessing Azibanagbal of MPN. Both have SSCE as highest academic qualification.
Commenting on the rate of women inclusion in the election, media and development activist, Stephanie Adams, blamed high capital outlay required in politics, as well as the ease for men to raise cash from godfathers.
“Godfatherism is definitely one of the most feasible means of securing political positions,” she said.
She said some of the factors hindering women from political participation are cultural and religious barriers and the ridiculous patriarchal stereotype about women’s inability to hold leadership responsibility or political position.
But apart from the three female governorship candidates, there are 12 other women fielded as deputy governorship candidates.
They Ereguadei Nathaniel, AAC; Ebitiene Tubo, ADP; Rose Egbe, APGA; Victory Izibedueniya, CAP; Eneni Keremah, FRESH; Alfreder Ato, HDP; and Amade Inenegha.
Others are Ayibake Bipeledei, PDM; Enuma Obuma, PRP; Frankenbona Paul, UDP; Zidegha Milicent; and Seibokuro Tnye James, UPP.
The two main parties, PDP and APC sponsored men, and their running mates are equally men.
However, there is no certainty about APC’s participation in Saturday’s election following the ruling of the court in Yenagoa, Thursday, declaring the party has no candidate.
PDP’s candidate is Duoye Diri, 60. Before the court ruling, INEC had listed David Lyon, 49, as the candidate of the APC.
Mr Lyon’s candidature was challenged by former minister Heineken Lokpobiri, who approached the court to be declared the authentic candidate of the APC.
But instead of granting the relief he sought, the court ruled his party has no candidate for the election because its primaries did not hold in compliance with the guidelines and rules of the party.
“It is strange,” said Fitzgerald Olorogun, Mr Lokpobiri’s lawyer, saying the court’s verdict was not part of his client’s prayers.
Apart from the PDP and APC, 40 other parties sponsored men as governorship candidates.
A further review of information on the candidates shows 35 of them are below 50.