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Housewives Dominate Grassroots Politics

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ElevateNews takes a look at the increasing population of housewives in grassroots politics.

They filed out in scores from Agidimgbi Primary School. They were all women. I have thought they were retired teachers who had come for their pension verification exercise but as they increased in number, I observed that many of them were of middle age.

So I queried who they were and why they had chosen the public primary school premises to hold their meeting even when the lessons were going on. I was told they were politicians. Politicians and yet there was no single man among them.

To me, it was a meeting of housewives that had no job and those who could leave their trades to mingle with their class for some “dividends of democracy”.

It does not happen in Lagos alone, it is a practice in all States of the federation now, retirees and jobless housewives are used as political tools by the political elites.

One of the women was looking directly at me from afar. She later moved closer and fixed the eyes on me that I could not turn my head to look elsewhere. Perhaps, she had met me somewhere. I was expecting her to speak first but rather she looked away and moved towards a small kiosk outside the school gate.

I moved slowly to see her. She asked the kiosk operator, a Northerner to give her a sachet of water. She hastily gulped the water. “Sorry Mallam, I will pay you as soon as we are through here,” she said.

It was then I realized why she was looking at me. She might want some money to buy water but lacked the courage to ask from me.

Madam, I called and handed over N100 note to her. She smiled and thanked me. She rushed back to the kiosk operator and paid for the ‘pure water’.

How did you know I needed money sir, she asked me. Because you did not pay for the water, I replied quickly as I queried her mission and that of other women at the school.

“We came for the ward meeting organized by the woman leader of our party, All Progressives Congress. We do this once in a while when there is no election but make it regular during the election period. Today, we learnt that our councilor will come. That is why all of us are here,” she said.

But all of you are women, don’t you have a job to do early this morning better than politics or are they going to give you money,” I probed.

‘Yes, they give us transport. Sometimes N1000, at times N1500, depending on the crowd,” Mrs. Rebecca Daniel said. She told our correspondent that almost all the women at the field the gathering are housewives whose trades are not so profitable but had joined politics to augment their income and help their husbands.

It was gathered that there were meetings where only men attended and that it cut across all the political parties.

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