By G9ija

Alhaji Shehu Yamusa III, the Emir of Keffi in Nasarawa State has said that lack of finance was the major factor hindering women participation in politics in Nigeria.

Yamusa, who is also Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, made this known when the  delegation from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Supporting Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) International and National Working Group, visited him in his palace.

`One of the major challenges for women is finance; most of them don’t have the finance to be able to participate fully in politics.

“The second challenge is culture. Most importantly, I will like to draw the attention of the entire nation that culture and politics are two different things.

“We are always mixing culture and politics that is why most women cannot contest, so we must carry them along.

“So what we are trying to do is for people to understand the difference between culture and politics; you cannot mix the two.

“If people understand it very well, politics will be fantastic in Africa,”he said

The emir called on women who have succeeded in politics to support and pull upcoming ones through mentorship to overcome the hurdles of the process.

He said that it was time for the nation to allow women’s home management performance skills to translate into nation building.

“I think that if we give them a chance, they will succeed; they have proved to us that they can manage the family better than us.

“From managing the family, you can know who is a leader, if they can manage family, they can manage the country,” he said

Yamusa said that he was particularly concerned about out-of-school children.

“This has remained a challenge to the nation.

“I am currently sponsoring more than 100 orphans to school. I call on well meaning Nigerians to do the same,” he said.

The leader of the delegation, Former President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga said that she was impressed with the work the emir was doing to support women in governance.

According to Jahjaga, the SAGE Working Group has a mission to support the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people to contribute on increasing the percentage of women into politics.

She said this would be done by working in direction of SAGE”s gender empowerment initiative.

“I am really impressed with what we have seen from his Highness and I thank the Emir and his palace for the contribution that they have made in pushing forward the agenda of women empowerment,” she said

One of the princesses of the palace, Hajiya Billasa Lawal, expressed gratitude to SAGE for the visit to the palace.

Lawal said that the palace was in the forefront in terms of supporting women and contributing to gender equality.

She sought the help of the SAGE group to assist women to improve their lives so they could attain presidential positions like the leader of the delegation.