Ambassador Mina Horsfall is an aspirant for the chairmanship position of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) on the platform of the National Rescue Movement Political Party. In this interview with ENE OSANG, she expresses concerns over changing things for the better in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Tell us more about yourself?
I am a visionary and strategist with multiple skill sets and diverse experience spanning media, entertainment, entrepreneurship and social service for the poor and needy.
I am driven by an incredible passion for humanity. I am launching my political career by leveraging the platform of a progressive political party to bring transformational changes in service delivery and social infrastructure to our people. Today, I stand on the platform of the National Rescue Movement Political Party as Flagbearer for the Chairmanship of Abuja Municipal Area Council in the upcoming selection.
What inspired you into politics?
I have always had a dream for humanity. In Nigeria, things are on a tailspin, security, the economy, infrastructure, education, etc. and the male dominated political space does not seem to have all the answers. The task at hand requires more diversity, more inclusion and participation of women and youth to make things better. I am ready, willing and able to serve my country and the poor people. Nigerians deserve better, given our endowment and human capital.
Are you confident of winning and what is your strategy?
Yes, of course, I am confident of winning. I have worked hard to secure a strong grassroots network and also a full complement of polling agents. I noticed that women aspirants don’t campaign much like the men and so I am exploring a strong campaign strategy, outreach program and messaging. Today, we are blessed with various social media and the main media has also increased so I will take advantage of these spaces to showcase what I’m bringing to the table and I believe this would make more people know me and also vote for me.
Why are you vying for this position, and what are you bringing to the table?
I am vying for the position of chairman of AMAC because I want to bring about transformational changes. I am the best person for AMAC chairmanship and I am inspired by several challenges faced by residents and young entrepreneurs of AMAC. I am determined to focus on key strategic areas to lift a majority of the residents out of poverty into prosperity. The key strategic areas of focus that require urgent attention by me are: healthcare, education, tech Hub, market environments, central car market, transportation, welfare of medical professionals and teachers.
I will also work to ensure the development of satellite towns, eradication of multiple taxation, unemployment, welfare of the poor, weak and vulnerable members of our society.
Developing a good working relationship with the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) will also be a priority.
Are there any challenges you face as a female politician?
In Nigeria, politics is male-dominated the men don’t really or actually give the women space in politics because they always see it as a purely men’s world. This is part of the reason why things are the way they are, any attempt for gender equity is seriously challenged. Women are also handicapped by the resources needed to execute successful campaigns.
Violence, which is a male induced phenomenon, is another factor that has kept women away from politics. Security is a major challenge both for men and women, but more-so for women.
What then would be your assessment of politics in Nigeria, especially as it affects women?
As indicated earlier, Nigerian politics is male-dominated which often translates to resource perversion, mismanagement, state capture, violence and heightened state of insecurity. By nature, women are anathema to these characteristics and so they are not usually attracted to politics. Resource requirement for executing successful campaigns is usually beyond the reach of an average woman.
How do you think this negativity should be addressed?
The government should pass appropriate laws such as the electoral bill which will address so many unfavourable conditions; this will increase the participation of women in politics. There should also be provision for better security for women, as well as limits on campaign finance should be established.
How long have you joined politics and how have you evolved?
I made the decision to join politics three years ago. The chairmanship of AMAC is the first political office I am seeking. As a young woman, I have innovative ideas that would lift the people out of poverty and dependency and I believe my interest in politics will also encourage other young women to join politics and showcase their talents in the development of the area council. Many youths are blessed with talents but have been hidden for a long time, I’m contesting to inspire such women to know that we cannot keep lamenting but can also contribute to enable the change we all long to see.
With the challenges you enumerated, how do you foresee the upcoming 2023 elections for women?
The 2023 elections are not going to be significantly different from the 2019 elections. In some of the southern states we could see a slight improvement in the States and National Assemblies and deputy governor positions.
What is your advice to the govt as well as stakeholders with regards elective positions for women?
Like I stated earlier, the government should pass necessary laws for women participation in politics. The government should provide better security for women. The government should undertake campaign finance reforms to make it less expensive for women.
What would you advise fellow aspirants to ensure they win positions they are contesting for?
First of all they should work hard, have a good vision and then assemble a good team.
They should also be very confident of themselves, they should be bold and don’t entertain any fear from the men which is very much expected. Any level of intimidation from the opposite sex should not be tolerated. And women should be focused, support themselves and pray to God always without ceasing.