Ebonyi South Senatorial primary controversy: Women groups condemn expulsion of Mrs Agom-Eze from APC


No fewer than 278 women groups, under the auspices of Feminist Womanifesto Group, have condemned the expulsion of Mrs Ann Agom-Eze, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the party over alleged rebellious behaviour.

Co-convener of the group, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in a statement made available on Sunday in Abuja, also demanded the reversal of Agom-Eze’s suspension by the Ebonyi chapter of the party. 

It would be recalled that Agom-Eze vied for the Ebonyi South Senatorial District APC primary.

But the Chairman, Ebonyi Chapter of the APC, Mr Stanley Okoro-Emegha, had, on Aug. 15 in a statement, announced Agom-Eze’s expulsion from the party over alleged rebellious and unruly behaviour.

Reacting, Akiyode-Afolabi described the act as unjust.

“We, the undersigned, of the Feminist Womanifesto Group, condemn in strong terms the unjust expulsion, intimidation, oppression, threat to life, and victimisation of Mrs. Ann Agom-Eze, who has decided to serve her constituency as the senatorial candidate of the APC, for Ebonyi South Zone. 

“Every citizen of Nigeria has the right to elect and be elected into any of the elective positions, it is not the exclusive preserve of a selected few or a particular gender,” she said. 

According to her, women and girls in Nigeria continue to face an unprecedented set of challenges in political participation.

“Despite the push by women groups, coalitions, and civil society organisations in Nigeria to remove systematic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in political leadership, the historic event that led to the expulsion of APC’s Senatorial candidate, Mrs. Ann-Agom-Eze evidences the rising pushback against the hard-won gains for women’s political rights.

See also  2023: In Zamfara, Tinubu says APC will win despite Sabotage

“The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Ebonyi State chapter, on Monday, August 15th ordered the immediate arrest of the Ebonyi South Senatorial Candidate, Mrs. Ann-Agom-Eze over alleged anti-party and perjury against the party in the state, due to the unsubstantiated accusations by her senatorial rival, Governor David Umahi and his party supporters which indicates the widespread gender inequalities that persist and the current imbalance in political power.

“The expulsion of Mrs. Ann-Agom-Eze by the APC leadership without a fair hearing is unconstitutional, it reinforces patriarchy and it portrays the deliberate exclusion of women from political participation, even when the case between both parties, Governor David Umahi, and Mrs. Ann-Agom-Eze is at the Appeal Court.

“This highlights a high level of impunity by the Ebonyi South APC party Leadership, and a lack of will by APC to respect the National Gender Policy 35% affirmative action, the INEC Gender Policy, and the APC party manifesto on Affirmative action. 

“The purported suspension/ expulsion has disparagingly defamed Mrs. Agomeze, with the intent to blackmail her into backing out from the senatorial race which is unacceptable, unethical, and unjust.

There have been incessant threats to her life which is a criminal act,” Akiyode-Afolabi said. 

She noted that the Nigerian Constitution emphasises inclusiveness and autonomy as a way of ensuring that the benefits of national citizenship are shared equally across Nigeria’s complex spectrum of diversity. 

“The governor has been a chairman of PDP, he has been a deputy governor, and now a governor. He aspired to be the president of this country Nigeria. 

“While Mrs. Agomeze aspired to be the Senator of Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone. These are two different aspirations and by the provisions of our 2022 electoral law, one cannot sign two nomination forms in the same electoral year. 

See also  Detention: El-Zakzaky’s family lauds protestors, journalists, lawyers, activists over courts' ruling

“However, when the governor failed in his bid for the President, he resorted to blackmail, intimidation, and victimisation despite the Federal High Court judgment sitting in Abakaliki, recognising Mrs. Ann Agom-eze as the senatorial candidate of All Progressive Congress Ebonyi South.

“We, therefore, call on the political leadership of the APC Party in Ebonyi State including the National Chairman and other executive members at all levels of the APC, and all other relevant actors to take immediate measures – beyond reinstating her from the suspension/expulsion, to publicly apologise in the media publications, ensure that her candidacy is secured and end all forms of threat to her life, intimidation, defamation and violence against Mrs. Ann-Agom-Eze. 

“Womanifesto, therefore demands a reverse of the suspension on Agom-Eze and the Chairman Mr. John Ogboji of Umudomi Ward, in Onicha Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, from the party. 

“As of today, in Nigeria, women marginally participate in politics; women have almost remained invisible in the party system. 

“While the APC claims to encourage women participation in elective positions through free nomination, yet they are discriminated against in practice. This action is a setback and condemnable,” she concluded. 

Some of the women groups include 100 Women Lobby Group (100WLG); 50MAWSP; 9jafeminista; Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls; Above Whispers Foundation; Action Aid Nigeria; ACTS Generation GBV; Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), among others.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here