Bayelsa APP Gov'ship Candidate Speaks on Challenges to Women's Participation in Politics in Nigeria

Bayelsa APP Gov'ship Candidate Speaks on Challenges to Women's Participation in Politics in Nigeria

  • Two of the governorship candidates that contested in 2023 election in Bayelsa state were women, representing a low 12.5 per cent female inclusion rate
  • reports that the two women governorship hopefuls are under-42 and were unsuccessful in their bid in 2023
  • APP's Mercy Kemelayefa Ogege who aspired to be Bayelsa state's No.1 citizen spoke exclusively to journalist Ridwan Adeola Yusuf has over 9 years of experience covering politics and governance in Nigeria.

Yenagoa, Bayelsa state - Kemelayefa Mercy Ogege, the governorship candidate of the Action Peoples Party (APP) in the 2023 election, has identified “culture and discrimination” as the main barriers to viable inclusion of women in politics. reports that Ogege was one of the two women who contested in the Bayelsa poll, with the other being Oguara Nengimonyo of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).

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Mercy Ogege speaks on Nigeria's inclusion of women in politics
Women's representation in Nigerian politics is not high. Photos credit: Kemelayefa Mercy Ogege
Source: Facebook

At the time of the election, Ogege was 37, making her the youngest among the 16 governorship candidates.

Recall that the election was won by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and incumbent, Douye Diri.

Diri won in six out of eight local government areas (LGAs) of the state. He polled a total of 175,196 votes to defeat 15 other candidates including his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Sylva came second, having won in two LGAs and polled a total of 110,108 votes.

The candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Udengs Eradiri, came a distant third with 905 votes.

Speaking to recently on the challenges of women’s leadership and political participation in Nigeria, Ogege said:

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“The main barriers to a viable political inclusion of women are culture and discrimination. Most men see the woman as one who is to sit at home and take orders. Some cultures don't permit the woman to lead.
“With men controlling conventional roles in politics, it will take a woman much more to get prepared financially to participate in an election process.
The same applies to opportunities. Even with affirmative action, the majority of opportunities are first given to men and women are more of an afterthought.”

She added:

“Another major barrier is that women hardly support women.
"During my governorship campaign, I had challenges with women supporting me. A woman’s worst enemy is her fellow woman. They hate, envy and attack.”

Read more about women's inclusion in politics

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INEC declares Diri winner of Bayelsa election

Earlier, reported that Governor Diri was declared the winner of the Bayelsa state governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The PDP chieftain was announced as the winner of the poll by the resident electoral commissioner (REC) of INEC, Obo Effanga.


Ridwan Adeola avatar

Ridwan Adeola (Current Affairs Editor) Ridwan Adeola Yusuf is a Current Affairs Editor at and a certified journalist with over 9 years of experience. He edited Politics Nigeria's articles, was the Acting Editor of AllNews Nigeria and Fact-Checking Researcher (Africa Check). He received his HND in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic Ibadan. He received a Certificate of Achievement (Journalism Clinic’s Fix The Leak masterclass, 2021) and also completed Google News Initiative's Advance digital reporting curriculum. Contact him at

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