I’ll never become a politician -Odumakin

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Popular civil rights campaigner, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin says she will never join partisan politics.

However, the President of Women Arise and Centre for Change said that modalities should be put in place to engender active participation of more women in politics.

She stated these in an interview published by Sunday Sun.

Asked if she would ever join politics since she had achieved so much in the area of activism, Odumakin said, “It is not an option I ever considered. I am not that way inclined.”

Explaining how more women could be encouraged to participate in politics, she stated, “The implementation of the National Gender Policy, the implementation of 35 per cent affirmative action and the practice of internal democracy by the major political parties will create a better opportunity for women participation in politics.

“Many countries, even in Africa, have reserved certain percentages as regards positions for them to fill, we must respect affirmative action to encourage the women.

“There is so much violence as well as monetisation of politics in Nigeria and this will continue to discourage the women from joining politics.

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Meanwhile, Odumakin urged the Federal Government not to offer amnesty to Boko Haram as proposed in some quarters.

The convener of Nigerians Unite Against Terror (NUAT) said the action would only embolden the terrorists.

“I totally disagree with such an offer. How can terrorists be offered amnesty? Who does that? What is their agitation?

“They do not have any clear and reasonable demand. They just want to terrorise other people and claim supremacy.

“The agitation of the Niger Delta is clear and well-articulated.

“The Federal Government should just step up and ensure they curtail them and get an end to the insurgence menace.

“I am the convener of Nigerians Unite Against Terror (NUAT), and we are horrified at the recent bill on the floor of National Assembly where a proposition was made for the establishment of an agency that would see to the rehabilitation, de-radicalisation, and integration of repentant insurgents in the country, with our collective patrimony.

“The Senate has begun deliberations on the bill which has been read for the first time on the floor of the red chamber which is being sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe East senatorial district.

“At NUAT, we strongly feel that the bill offers further concessions to Boko Haram militants who are still terrorising the country which would further embolden terrorism.

“I believe that terror is a crime against humanity that must be met with punitive measures in an ideal society rather than with kid gloves.

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“There is the need for those in government to remember that they were elected to make the country safe and for me and our position in NUAT is that rehabilitating dissidents who have killed thousands of Nigerians means recycling terror.

“I think there is an urgent need that as a people, we must rise up in unison against such broad day assault against our sense of humanity,” Odumakin said.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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