Minister, women commend Prof Oti’s integrity at Abia State Guber Polls


By Palma Ileye

Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen as well as other Nigerian women have commended the exemplary and proven integrity of Professor Nnenna Nnannya-Oti, INEC’s Returning Officer for the 2023 Gubernatorial and Assembly Elections for Abia State.

Tallen, in a press statement issued yesterday by the Director Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Olujimi Oyetomi, said, “On behalf of Nigerian women, I stand boldly to commend Prof Nnenna Nnannaya-Oti, the INEC’s Returning Officer for Abia State, in the 18th March, 2023 Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Election for her exemplary and proven integrity as an umpire in the said election.

The Women Minister stated that her words have become golden when she stated her commitment in the face of undue pressure that she will do the right of the people and protect democratic values, while quoting the Professor: “I shall stand squarely and unapologetically on these principles.

“The people’s votes and mandate shall stand. “The pastor and the mother in me will not permit me to do anything that will adversely affect the future of our children.”

She said that these words of Nnannaya-Oti have become golden and eternally etched on marbles in the annals of women development in Nigeria.

She noted that Professor Nnannaya-Oti who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri merited the accolades that Nigerian women and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs will want to heap on her as a deserving ambassador of Nigerian women, when various bodies and persons said of her: “Honest people still exist”; “Posterity will forever be kind to her”; “Her name will be written in gold for future generations to learn from.”

“The commendation from international observer groups including the Pan African Women Projects, PAWP, which monitored the just-concluded general elections stating of Nnannaya-Oti that her role and firmness made the people’s votes and mandate count in the Abia State’s Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Elections of 18th March, 2023 is also endorsed by the entirety of Nigerian women.

“With restlessness from voters, given the concern with shortfalls of the 2023 elections, especially the non-transmission of the presidential election results directly from polling units using the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, machines as earlier assured by INEC, Prof. Nnannaya-Oti stood firm and with the people. In the face of pockets of violence and intimidation observed in all the three Senatorial zones of Abia State, Prof. Nnannaya-Oti was able to maintain her resolve.

“And for everything which challenge her resolve, the Lady Professor stated “The people’s mandate shall stand. I have spent all my adult life in pursuit of the ideals of good governance. We shall stand by these principles. The Pastor in me and the mother in me will not permit me to do anything that will adversely affect the future of our children. I shall do right by God and by man!”

“On behalf of Nigerian women, I stand to endorse the submission that Prof Nnenna Nnannaya-Oti is a heroine whose name has gone down in history forever and I also commend her conduct to every other Nigerians and women in particular, as exemplary.

“Even while several recognitions have been tumbling her way in the forms of being gifted monetary and car, our best gift in recognition of the sterling qualities displayed by this Nigerian woman Academic is for us to celebrate her as the true heroine of the 2023 General Elections,” the Women Affairs statement read.