By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, – Mrs Omotayo Oduntan, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Deputy Chief Whip in the Lagos State House of Assembly, has advocated increased women representation in politics ahead of party primaries.
Oduntan, who represents Alimosho Constituency II in the Assembly, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to her, there are so many qualified and capable women seeking tickets to vie for elective positions in 2019 general elections that must be considered.
She said:“ In this dispensation, we don’t have enough women representing people of Lagos State in parliament.
“It is not as if we don’t have competent women, but most women do not either come out to vie for positions or when they came out, they are shortchanged, which is not good enough for our state and democracy.
“When we want to talk on women issues, who will do that if women are not given the opportunity?
“When we want to talk of children-related issues, who do we want to talk to, if women are not there?”
The lawmaker said that the increasing needs of Nigerian women and children had made it imperative to have more women at the helm in the country.
“I want to move up with the hope of collaborating with seasoned and passionate legislators like myself, to be able to move the nation forward and address women and child-related issues.
“If we have more women, we would be able to speak as a strong and unified voice.
“Since Alimosho Federal Constituency was created, no woman has ever represented it at the House of Representatives and I want to be the first woman to be there from this constituency,” she said.
Oduntan said she would build on whatever legacies past representatives of the constituency had left behind to put smiles on the faces of majority of the constituents.
On her chances of securing the ticket, Oduntan said her scorecard would speak for her, as no one had been able to beat her record in terms of good representation and empowerment given to people as a state legislator.
She said her sterling performance would guarantee her the party ticket and her eventual victory at the poll.
The lawmaker said that she would support a woman to take over her seat in the Lagos Assembly when she leaves for the House of Representatives.
Oduntan said that more women had to be supported as their representation in politics was still unsatisfactory, and the 35 per cent affirmative action had yet to be attained.
“We have not got there at all. What we plan to do is to bring up more women, mentor them to replace us,” she said.
According to her, the fear of sexual harassment that discourages many women is not real.
She encouraged women to become adventurous and courageous to vie for elective positions and urged the party in the state to give qualified women a chance.