Sen. Biodun Olujimi (PDP-Ekiti South) has cautioned those raising gender as a parameter for the 2022 governorship election in Ekiti, warning them to stop insulting women.
Olujimi stated this on Sunday while formally declaring her ambition to contest for the 2022 governorship on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in her ward 7, Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti-East Local Government Area of the state.
The former Senate Minority Leader said that people should rather focus on capacity and competence to deliver democratic dividends to them.
According to her, there is nothing spectacular about being a governor, such that it should be an exclusive preserve for men.
“I feel insulted and offended when some people insinuate that it is not time for women to be governor of a state,” he said.
Olujimi, who said that she did not believe that politics was a man’s world, added: “what is on ground is not about men or women. It is about development; it is about inclusiveness; it is about wanting to serve our people.
“That is why I believe that coming into it is nothing spectacular, especially because I have been there before.
“This won’t be my first time. Nowadays, I hear stories that it isn’t time for women. I feel pained and insulted.
“So it wasn’t time for women when I became Commissioner for Works and Transport. It was also not time for women when I became Deputy Governor.
“It wasn’t time for women when I was elected into the House of Representatives. It was not time for women when I went to the Senate and became Deputy Minority Whip and also got re-elected into the senate”, she said.
According to the senator, it is because the governorship election has been taken beyond its scope that the issue of gender is now being played up.
“To me, it is about capability, competence and requisite knowledge and not about gender.
“For once, no woman has been there, except for Anambra when a woman inadvertently became an acting governor. So what is wrong in ensuring that there is inclusiveness? I believe I have what it takes to be governor of a state,” she said.
Olujimi said that for equity and justice sake, all political parties fielding candidates for the election should pick from the southern zone which had never produced governor since the return of democracy in 1999.
“I have never stopped saying that the southern zone has been badly marginalised. I have never stopped saying it. I have been behind the agitation for power shift to the zone.
“The reason is that if you are a true born of the zone and you see marginalisation going on, you either speak up or forever remain silent.
“There are three senatorial districts. From the northern part, Mr Segun Oni was there as governor for three and half years. Gov. Kayode Fayemi is about completing his eight-year tenure. If you add the two, they would have spent eleven and a half years.
“Also, if you come to the central zone, Chief Niyi Adebayo was there for four years, followed by Mr Ayodele Fayose, who spent roughly eight years, making it a total of 12 years. The south part has not done any. Why?
“If you don’t allow the south now, it means they will wait for another eight years before taking a shot at the governorship and the state would have existed democratically for 32 years without a southern governor,” she said.
The former deputy minority whip, however, said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) could be defeated by PDP, if the party got it right in term of choice of candidate. (NAN)