Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
One of the governorship aspirants in Osun State and only female contestant on the platform of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Bolanle Akanbi, has accused the party of shutting her out of the race.
Mrs Akanbi, who narrated her ordeal at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, while addressing newsmen said she arrived at the secretariat on Wednesday with a view to collecting her form but she was denied.
She explained, “I was told to go to office of the National Publicity Secretary, when I got to the publicity secretary, they asked me to write a letter, which I did. They asked me to submit the letter to the national chairman.
“When the chairman minutes on it, I should bring the letter back but I was not able to see the national chairman yesterday (Wednesday). Today, I went back to the national chairman, I was in his office waiting for him, he did not allow me to explain anything to him.
“Immediately, the chairman came out, I believe as a woman I needed his audience. I was expecting him to look at me. Suddenly, he said, Madam, what do you want? Later he sent his security details to drive me away.
“I came all the away from State of Osun. I am the only female aspirant, out of 34. I feel it is not a sin for me to show interest in contesting because I know I am qualified. What a man can do, a woman can do better.”
The APC chieftain, who hails from Isokan Local Government of the state, told newsmen she holds Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in mathematics, adding that she is more qualified to contest the position, considering her experience in politics.
According to her, she was one of the 63-member committee who endorsed former governor of the state, Chief Bisi Akande, as a consensus candidate on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999 before the party metamorphosised into Action Congress.
She, however, appealed to the party leaders not to disenfranchise her or deny her rights.
When contacted, the party’s spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said he was not aware of the development.
But speaking on the development, the National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, confirmed that he actually asked the woman to get a letter from the national chairman, saying Mrs. Akande came late.
“I asked the Director of Organisation what is the procedure for women, he said the forms are free but she would have to get a letter from the national chairman. She couldn’t have been denied form, moreover when she came the sales of form had closed,” he said.