The 2019 WIMBIZ Women in Politics Town Hall Meeting may have come and gone but there persist growing talks of an unforgettable moment of what was termed as ‘unpardonable error’ when the Lagos State governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi (BOG) addressed prominent Nigerian women at the event as ‘side chicks’.
It was the only moment when the well-organised event had its blemishes as a lady from the audience instantly protested the tag ‘side chick’ pronounced by the governorship candidate.
Women in Politics Town Hall Meeting was an event put together by the prestigious WIMBIZ and aimed at discussing issues centred on the involvement of women in politics.
The program was also targeted at encouraging female gender to support one another and as well to attract more women to actively get involved in politics.
The event held on the 13th of February, at the Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos had in attendance several female politicians aspiring for respective elective positions under different political parties.
Some of the notable candidates from different political parties who were key speakers at the Women in Politics Town Hall Meeting include Oluyemisi Haleemat Busari, (Lagos Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deputy governorship candidate), Arinola Oloko (Social Democratic Party, SDP Lagos state House of Assembly candidate) and Khadija Abdullahi (Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN, Vice presidential candidate).
Others are Lara Adesanya (Providence People’s Congress, PPC, Lagos gubernatorial candidate) and Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (All Progressives Congress, APC, House of Representatives candidate).
The Lagos ADP governorship candidate was one of the few male dignitaries invited to the all-women-event.
But the event was tainted with a flash of ‘unpardonable error’ when the ADP governorship candidate while giving his remarks seemed to have ‘hit below the belt’.
BOG, as fondly called by his supporters in his speech, said he was apologizing on behalf of men for obstructing full women participation in politics. He apologised to “our mothers, wives and side chicks.”
According to a report monitored on AIGmedia pro, a lady in a purple chiffon top with low cut immediately interrupted and cautioned BOG for using the term “side chick”.
It was also gathered that the ‘side chick’ comment attracted condemnations from the entire female audience.
‘Side chick’ is popularly defined as the other woman; also known as the mistress; a female that is neither a male’s wife or girlfriend who has relations with the male while he is in another relationship.
The comment made by the Lagos ADP governorship candidate was said to have depicted one the major factors affecting women participation in politics – ‘lack of respect for womenfolk’.
“Such comment is degrading and an absolute lack of respect for the womenfolk, it’s one of the many ways of discouraging female participation in politics by our men,” a participant who craved for anonymity said.
A study has also shown that Nigeria has the lowest proportion of female lawmakers in Africa.
Also just last month, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara State, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami at a seminar entitled: ‘Mitigating Violence Against Women in the Electoral Processes,’’ expressed concern over the low level of participation of women in politics in the country.
However, BOG, in turn, apologised again after minutes of protests over the comment.