2019 elections: OWN to rally more Nigerian ladies into politics

National Coordinator, North- Central, Our Women Now (OWN), Barrister Juliana Shan; Founder of OWN, Mrs Saidat Odoffin-Benjamin and Chairman of OWN, Mrs. Ngozi Uche-Oji at the unveiling of the organisation’s plan to sensitise women for politics


A new non-partisan organization with special focus on increased women’s participation in politics, Our Women Now (OWN) has declared its commitment to mobilise more Nigerian women to register and participate in the 2019 elections. The women’s group, whose mission is to make Nigerian women politically relevant and responsible, made this declaration in a press conference held recently at Ocean Parade Hotel, Banana Island, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Speaking during the conference, the founder of OWN, Mrs Saidat Odoffin-Benjamin revealed that their main goal is to ensure that all Nigerian women and their wards of voting age receive full political enlightenment and voter’s education to make 2019 a huge success.

Explaining further she said: “The idea was born three years ago but I was waiting to launch it at the most appropriate moment. Now there is a tide of change around the world with women leading the pack and it is important that Africa, especially Nigeria, remains at the forefront. Although, there are a lot issues about women being abused and several people are speaking against it on radio, television and social media, this is also the appropriate time to address women’s participation in election through registering with the electoral commission and eventually coming out to vote.”

Odoffin-Benjamin explained further that the NGO would move out massively to educate women on the right political attitude.Her words: “We are going out to tell women that if any man gives them a bag of rice to vote for him, they must have a conscience to know that this bag of rice  will finish in a month or two, but what about the future of our children? So, we must have the conscience to do what is right.

Make the right decision for your children by voting for somebody who will make life better for us and our children.’’Also speaking, the National Coordinator, North Central, Barrister Juliana Shan said, “the right to vote is for everyone. For a mother or sister to go out to vote, she is securing the right of her children and husband. As mothers, we cannot sit back at home and not play our part when voting is going on. We have to come out and vote. We are awakening that faithful spirit in women who have given up and resigned their fate to politicians who have not delivered on their promises. We need to get out there and make a difference by casting our vote for the right person.’’

On the strategy to use to achieve their mission, the Chairman of OWN, Mrs. Ngozi Uche- Oji said, “we don’t want to start gathering women and telling them what to do. Since we might not be able to cover 774 local governments in Nigeria, we want to use the media extensively. It is the media that will spread the message for us. We want to use newspapers, radio stations in our villages, television, and social media.’’

“We will also go to the market squares using microphone as well as churches, and mosques.  OWN will be the engine that will drive our political carts to success. It will be the engine that will drive other women group to achieve our ultimate objectives of total inclusiveness. We know doing it in the regular NGO way is slower but media campaign remain the fastest,’’ she stressed.

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