Women are quite believed to be gifted in all areas of life. And at whatever cost, they make sure their targets are achieved. This is why Margaret Thatcher, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain once said; “if you want something said, ask a man, but if you want something done ask a woman”.
Also, it is believed that for rapid development of a nation to be achieved, more effectively, women should be involved and empowered to achieve set goals.
In a bid to ascertain the notion, The Voice’s GRACE ADDINGI had a chat with a former caretaker Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State who is currently the Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Politics, Hon. Vera Akua. A renowned food vendor, she spoke on how government can empower women to enable them make things happen.
Many people wonder who Vera Akua is, who exactly are you?
I am a graduate of business management and entrepreneur services at the National Open University of Nigeria, Makurdi study centre. I once contested for a seat in the state House of Assembly representing Katsina-Ala East constituency, but I lost. With the desire I had to serve my people and by the grace of God, I was appointed the care taker chairman of Katsina-Ala where I displayed my worth in serving my people. I must not forget to tell you the best of me and what I know best to do, I am a food seller and a philanthropist.
What inspired you to venture into politics?
I am a woman of the people. Why I went in to politics mainly is to serve my people. By my thought, when you are in to politics, if by luck you are favored, you will have the opportunity to give out your best. Basically I am into politics to attract meaningful development to my people.
What can you say you have achieved in politics?
I must give glory to God, since my coming into politics my life has changed; I know where I am coming from and where I am today. I boldly state that God has favored me since the reign of Governor George Akume through Gabriel Suswam, and presently in the Governor Ortom administration. Without mincing words, I must give kudos to Her Excellency, Dr. Eunice Ortom for touching my life. It is this administration that I was appointed caretaker chairman of Katsina-Ala and presently the SSA on women affairs zone A. There are so many trips I have made with the first lady outside the country to get ways of impacting the women.
You have said much about yourself, what is your assessment of the Benue women and their participation in politics?
Yes, Benue women are not left out in the scheme of affairs politically, even in government appointments. They are doing well even if it is not one hundred percent. I say this because going through the records, most especially in the present administration, women are chairmen of local governments, we have female commissioners, permanent Secretaries and heads of units, among others.
Do you think there is anything more to be done to enhance women in Benue?
Yes, talking of the Benue woman, I think much attention should be given to them in the area of farming and health and even in politics; they should be given more good positions, Benue women under the administration of Samuel Ortom have achieved a lot in some areas. For example the pet project, Eunice Spring of Life has touched the lives of women and children. Politically, she has encouraged women to participate in politics by giving those appointments at the local government and state, however women still need more.
Do you think women can influence the transformation of society?
Women naturally possess the power of influence which is much stronger than the physical and authoritative power of the men. The affirmation of the adage which says ‘what a man can do, a woman can do even better,’ you can see it among some women in their various political leadership.
Women have handled and are still handling offices effectively. The Benue woman knows who she is and she celebrates being a woman, because she understands her inner quality which emanate from her calling and values, I can say Benue women are intelligent and wonderful.
What is your advice to women in politics?
My words to my fellow women are that they should make things that appear to be impossible to be possible. Start by doing what is necessary then do what is possible and suddenly you will be seen doing the possible. Also, I wish to appeal to the women to always support their fellow women contesting for elective positions, stop the pull-down syndrome and shun intimidation, humiliation and name calling by our men.