Osun 2018: APC ‘shuts female aspirant out of race’

All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bolanle Akanbi,
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bolanle Akanbi,

The only woman among the governorship aspirants in Osun State under the platform of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bolanle Akanbi, has accused her party of shutting her out of the race.

Mrs Akanbi at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja told journalists ishe was on hand on Wednesday to collect her form but was denied.

“I was told to go to office of the National Publicity Secretary, when I got to there, they asked me to write a letter, which I did. They asked me to submit the letter to the National Chairman. When chairman minutes to it, I should bring the letter back but I was not able to see the National Chairman yesterday (Wednesday).

Today, I went back to the National chairman, I was in his office waiting for him, he did not allow me to explain anything to him. Immediately, the chairman came out, I believe as a woman I needed his audience. I was expecting him to look at me. Suddenly, he said, Madam, what do you want? Later he sent his security details to drive me away.

“I came all away from State of Osun. I am the only female aspirant out of 34. I feel it is not a sin for me to show interest in contesting because I know I am qualified. What a man can do, a woman can do better.”

Mrs Akanbi, who hails from Isokan Local Government of the state, told journalists she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, and believes is more qualified to contest the position considering her experience in politics for over two decades.

She also said she played a vital role as part of the 63-member committee who signed for the former governor of the state, Bisi Akande, as a consensus candidate on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999 before the party metamorphosised to Action Congress.

She therefore appealed to the party leaders not to disenfranchise her or deny her, her rights.

To get a reaction, journalists tried to reach the chief press secretary of the chairman, Simon Egbebulum, who said he could not talk because he was driving.

The party’s spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, also said he had not been around in the secretariat and did not know what transpired.

However, the National Organising Secretary of the party, Emmanuel Ibediro, explained that he met the woman when she came seeking for the form and directed her on what to do but he noted she came late.

“I asked the director of organization what is the procedure for women, he said the forms are free but she has to get a letter from the chairman. Since then I don’t know what else happened. She couldn’t have been denied form, moreover when she came, the sale of forms had closed.”

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