A former minister and ex-deputy governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen, has given reasons why she wants to vie for a Senate seat.
Mrs Tallen, a former minister of science and technology under the Obasanjo regime and deputy governor is aspiring to represent Plateau South Senatorial District under the platform of ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
The district is currently represented by Jeremiah Useni, a senator, who is seeking to govern the state under the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The former deputy governor made this known while addressing the leaders of the Conference of Plateau Independent Publishers (CPIP) in her Jos residence.
Mrs Tallen said her decision to contest the Senate seat is not just to satisfy her personal interest or that of the people of Shendam but the interest of southern zone.
“You know me well. I am not a tribalist. I don’t treat people based on sentiments. I believe in fairness to all. These and many other issues have prompted me to contest to ensure the southern zone gets better representation,” she said.
She also spoke on the need to fill the “mandatory quota for women participation in politics as resolved in the Beijing declaration that has been adopted in many African governments”.
“It was unfortunate that while the involvement of women in politics and their identification in electoral process in other African countries has been enormous and encouraging, the case of Nigeria is different as they have been neglected,” she said.
“The world in general and Africa in particular have realised that in order to move forward, women must be involved in politics and in the art of governance.
“Like Senegal, Kenya, Gambia and Ghana where women involvement in politics is between 50-60 per cent and even in Rwanda has made considerable progress and development after the genocide episode over 20 years ago because of visionary leadership in the country that deemed it fit to give about 60 per cent quota to women in the affairs of politics and governance,” Mrs Tallen said.
Her aspiration is however facing a serious challenge in the zone.
The issue of who gets the APC ticket in the district is becoming a bone of contention.
Mrs Tallen and a former deputy-governor, Ignatius Longjan, are the two major aspirants jostling for the APC ticket from the zone.
Both of them are from the same senatorial district with Governor Solomon Lalong who is believed to be backing Mr Longjan.
Mrs Tallen is the board chairman of National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA).