According to World Economic Forum Gender Gap Reporting on Women Political Participation, Nigeria is ranked as of 2019 one hundred and second (102nd) then nine years ago when it was ranked Ninety nine (99) worldwide. This is a great concern if truly Nigeria want to witness all around development.
Over the years, there has been a poor representation and gender imbalance of women in all sectors. Many factors contribute to this ugly situation be it tradition, culture and religion. The negligence of the role played by the super being – woman in running the affairs of this country Nigeria has indeed lead to poor governance.
The few women who have held political positions did awesomely and has proven that, for Nigeria to move forward, women must be actively involved in the policy making bodies of this nation.
Recently, there have been campaign, and public awareness aimed at galvanizing the women to participate in politics and change the narrative.
Championing the cause for the participation of women in politics is the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello who has decried the low level of participation of women in the political process in the state on numerous occasions. This call is geared towards women rising and take part in politics. This is commendable.
A beam of light to the female gender, an iconic, decorated and lustrous Mary Neol – Berje is willing and ready to take the bull by the horn. Mary Neol – Berje is a record holder, the first female Chief. Press Secretary to Niger State government since the creation of the state in 1976.
Mary Neol- Berje born and raised in Minna to Gbanyi tribe; she had her primary Education in the then Central Primary School, Minna which is now known as IBB Primary School and she proceed to Federal Government Girls College Benin. Mary Neol – Berje is an alumnus of two prestigious universities, having bagged a Diploma in Mass Communication and B.Sc in Political Science from universities of Jos and Abuja respectively.
In her quest to contribute to the society positively, Mary in 1998 joined the the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Africa’s largest Television Network. Mary Neol – Berje a humble simple, intelligent, dynamic and visionary television personality has won the heart of many with her amazing performance and knowledge. She won the News Personality of the year award in 2008.
Interestingly, she has been honoured and presented with awards of excellence by national and international organisations among which are an “International Peace Advocate by the UN-POLAC Foundation; Legacy of true leadership award by Leadership News Magazine in Dubai; Icon Gender Advocate award by Campaign for Democracy, Human Rights Advocacy, Civil Society.
Icon and Grand Commander of Nigeria Students by the National Association of Polytechnic Students was conferred on her. The Nigerian Youth Organisation for Leadership and Right Activation also bestowed on her Chief Doyen of Nigerian Youth.
Also, she was honoured as a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria, based on her outstanding approach to Administrative Matters.
Out of compassion and love for the less privilege in the society, Mary Neol – Berje established AYEWOSAI Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization meaning “Love God’s Time” with the main mandate of “breaking the silence with love”.
The organization has touched thousands of lives in the society.
As 2023 general election draw close women need to be given the opportunity to be in Political space. Mary Neol – Berje an accomplished screen goddess, epitome of knowledge and one who has the leadership qualities needs to be considered and place in front of the race.
To be on the right side of history, the pairing of Mary Neol – Berje as the Deputy Governor of Niger State will ushered a new era for the people. A new dawn of all around true development. Yes, Mary Neol – Berje wins, the people wins.