Former Presidential aspirant of the Alliance for New Nigeria(ANN), Rosemary Ideh has stated the readiness of women to get in the run-in and become Nigeria’s President.
Ideh revealed this on Political Stew, a political show which airs every Tuesday on Television Continental, TVC, and anchored by the ace broadcaster, Sulaiman Aledeh.
Mrs. Ideh said a lot of women have increased willingness to get more involved in Nigerian politics and find lasting solutions to the nation’s teething problems.
On Why She Dropped Her Presidential Ambition
Ideh said it became imperative to ditch her presidential ambition because of the need to have one voice amongst the candidates of the new parties.
She said she had to align with the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together(PACT) for them to be united, and come out as a force.
”We were too many, and to make an impact, we had to pick one person who we will all support. A consensus was signed, and after voting within ourselves, a winner emerged. Coincidentally, the winner is also from my party and that’s Fela Durotoye.
After the winner emerged, I had to step down because I had made a promise and politics is about words and promises.”
Why Did Some People Pull Out Of PACT?
Ideh said those who pulled out were probably disappointed by the result of the mini-election they had. She revealed it was a free, and fair election, and those who pulled out were confident of their emerging as PACT’s candidate.
According to her, ”a lot of people fell off the table”.
Sticking With PACT Or Not?
Ideh said she’s sticking with Fela Durotoye’s candidacy except things change along the line.
”You can’t make a promise publicly, and not keep up to your words,” she said.
On Her Thoughts About Nigeria’s Readiness For A Woman President?
”Women are ready, but Nigerians aren’t ready,” Ideh said.
Nigerians are still biased. We are still in a patriarchal society.”
She revealed that when she indicated interest to be Nigeria’s President, women rallied behind her, and were her best support system.
”My greatest support are with women. Women now support each other. We need to rise up to stem the decay. We have risen as mothers, and we are thinking about Nigeria.
Every nation needs an equal representation of women. Women have an emotional intelligence they use to analyse a situation in society.”
On The Level Of Activities Of Women in Political Parties
Ideh decried the roles given to women in political parties. She said females don’t get enough opportunities to be in good positions within political parties.
”Women are given non-expressive roles. What stops a woman from being a Governor or President? Lots of great nations are giving women a chance.
Rwanda, despite its political instability for years, had to call on women when it was important to change its government.
She said the East African nation injected 68% women participation into government in a move that is still the highest of its kind recorded anywhere in the world.
” It brought Rwanda a total restoration. We both have a collective responsibility to build a society, to bring about productivity and creativity.”
What’s Holding Women Back?
”Money is one problem,” she said. ”Another factor is the fear of what society thinks.
Women should aspire for anything. Women are not bold enough because they believe the territory is dangerous. Politics is so dirty in our nation, and lots of families don’t want their women facing such risks.
Women now take bold steps. If I perish, I perish.”
What Will You Tell Women Ahead Of 2019?
Ideh charged women to be confident, and have belief in themselves. She advised that women should work with progressive-minded people and those who have believed in their vision.
”Women should not be afraid, they should work with a network of people that believe in them. Money can be curbed by using friends that believe in your vision. It worked for me when I was out there. And women are ready to push another woman.”
Were You Approached for Money or Foodstuff?
”The greatest problem I saw out there was that the electorates don’t care about what you want to do for them. We are still a long way from there.
Your vote is your life, but you must be ready to pay the absolute sacrifice for Nigeria’s future.”
On How To Overcome The Power of Money In Nigerian Politics
People’s mandate has been stolen. We saw a blatant display of money politics in Osun, and Ekiti elections.
Nigeria has to look beyond money politics. They have to look at transformational leaders. Nigeria is already the poverty capital of the world.
Bad leadership has put Nigeria where it has found itself.
On Crowd Funding As A Means Of Raising Money
”Nigerians need to be educated about public funding. How many are we as a nation?
A lot of Nigerians were ready to do crowdfunding for me, I tried it, and the result was impressive.
On Representing A Smaller Locality
”I would have made my vision regional. I have been dealing with local issues for 2 decades. I’ve been to marginalised societies. I’ve rescued people at the regional level for 20 years.
I’ve been in public service longer than those who hold public offices.
Abject poverty is engulfing the whole nation. If I go regional, it won’t help my vision, my nation, I want a transformational assignment. That’s my vision and that’s what I wanted to do.”
What Party Would You Join If You Were Given Another Chance To Achieve Your Vision?
When quizzed about the party she will align with if given a chance to revitalise her presidential vision, she said; ”I’ll choose one of the new parties. I do not have any confidence in what the established parties are doing. I need to go with the new ones and build with people.”