A Writer, Public Speaker and Activist, Gnarly Eyo has observed that being a female politician in Nigeria is not as easy as one would expect.
In a chat with a correspondent, she stated that for a woman to make headway in Nigerian politics, she must possess the ability to stay calm and ignore gender stereotypes with a stubborn faith in her determination to rise above the ceiling.
Eyo said this is why her love for Barr. Natasha H. Akpoti Uduaghan is unquantifiable.
“I remember when she broke ground by running for Governor of Kogi State in 2019 as a single woman. She garnered massive support and the masses were able to see beyond her gender construct. They saw capacity, an audacious woman, a philanthropist of the first grade, and immeasurable competency.
“They heard the voice of Natasha, soothing and unperturbed by the tempest, assuring them that all would be well, soon.”
Eyo noted that as political icon, Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan is the embodiment of resilience and courage and an inspiration to the women folk, both old and young in Africa.
The activist admitted that Nigerian women have not yet arrived at their intended destination. She therefore assured the women that by stubborn faith and determination to break ground in the teeth of strong opposition, they will get there.
She emphasized that Nigeria needs more Natashas, more Bettas, more Iwealas, more Sawabas, and more women doing the right thing if women are to be liberated from the shackles of patriarchy.
“Today, because of the pace set by Barr. Natasha Akpoti and other women, there is no excuse for not living up to your fullest potential as a woman”, she said.
Eyo added that being a single woman should not be hindrance from scaling desirable political heights. She charged that women shouldn’t stoop below their values to fit in. Then the right man will eventually come along to complement them, similar to the case of Natasha when she met her heartthrob, the Elema of Warri Kingdom, Chief Emmanuel Uduaghan.
“Being single has not stopped Dino Melaye or Femi Fani Kayode and a host of other unmarried men from reaching for their political dreams.
“To think of it, one of Nigeria’s young billionaires as named by Forbes, Ladi Delano, founder of Bakrie Delano is still single and unperturbed.”
Eyo is of the opinion that there is no logical reason why being single should discredit the personality of a woman. She advised women to turn a deaf ear to such petty arguments.
The activist is optimistic that it is just a matter of time and women will be free from tyranny and dictatorial leadership in governance.
“Nigerian women should learn to be blunt, non-conformist, and outspoken. Ignore the voices telling you that you can’t.
“Do not be scammed into seeing yourself as the weaker or duller person. As women, we must push for new systems of democratic enfranchisement. You are just as good as the man sitting next to you, and you must speak up for the world to hear you,” she encouraged the women.
Writes from Calabar, Cross River State.