By G9ija

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has urged women in the country to be more active in politics by seeking elective positions.

He also identified lack of knowledge of the workings of government and democracy as the main reasons for the low percentage of women vying for elective office.

According to him, women play important roles in nation building, and should therefore, be encouraged to learn more about the democratic process and how they can fully participate in governance.

Dogara spoke during a retreat for wives of members of the House of Representatives held, in Abuja, to sensitise them on the democratic process, raise awareness among political spouses on the roles and responsibilities of their husbands as lawmakers, broaden understanding of participants of the structure of government and political processes, deepen their knowledge of the legislative practice and procedure.

Dogara called on wives of lawmakers to identify ways in which they can contribute in the work of their husbands, this even as he advised that spouses of lawmakers to give back to society.

According to him, “I want to also advise that apart from acquainting yourselves with the legislative and political work of your spouses, it would do great justice to the image of this association if you also concentrate on issues concerning children, gender, community and humanitarian activities.

“You have a great role to play in keeping our families together for a well-organised family is the bedrock of any society”, he said.

The Speaker commended the women led by his wife, Gimbiya Dogara, for the initiative, saying, the existence of the association is “predicated on the urgent need for team work, collaboration, cooperation, non-partisanship, social bonding and synergy necessary for legislators to work optimally in the national interest.”

Earlier in her address, Mrs. Dogara stressed the importance wives of lawmakers ensuring that their husbands remain connected to their constituents.

“In Nigeria, wives of politicians are known to channel requests and grievances from the electorate and other groups. Some wives of some politicians are ardent promoters of their husbands, some wives of politicians campaign for their spouses and as a result, a number of constituents are comfortable with channelling their requests to their lawmakers through their wives.

” Though said not directly engaged in the process of lawmaking, wives of members should understand the constitutional roles of their husbands, the structure of government as this will help us appreciate the responsibilities of spouses and better equip us to support them effectively in the discharge of these responsibilities”, she said.