The Presidential Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso were obviously absent at the Voice of Women Conference where presidential aspirants were grilled on their plans for women.
In attendance include the Presidential Candidates of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, Young Progressive Party (YPP), Malik-Ado Ibrahim and the Action Alliance (AA), Hamza Al-Mustapha.
The programme was Funded by MacArthur Foundation, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA Nigeria) in partnership with Affirmative Action Initiative for Women and Women FM 91.7.
Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party while speaking, said he believes in women to save the country from collapsing.
“Nigeria is about to hire the next CEO and I appeal to you our mothers that what we are going through today as a country, you will not believe it, our country is collapsing and you can save it, and you mothers are the ones that will suffer more if it goes wrong.
“I believe in the women, and I believe you can save our country. For me, of anybody is coming to tell you what he is going to do tomorrow, let’s start from what he did yesterday, let’s look at his part and where he is coming from.
“I had a female deputy Governor, my Chief of Staff was is a woman, my Commissioner for Planning is woman, Commissioner for Local Government is a woman, Commissioner for Education and my Accountant General were women and so on”, he said.
The former Anambra State Governor said that
women are far more productive than men, and his success as Governor for 8 years would be attributed to the role women played in his government.
“When you talk about my success today as a Governor, I will attribute it to those women. For me women are critical, if you want to get Nigeria to move we have have to surround ourselves with women.
“What we are going through today is a cumulative of leadership failure, we are now about to pick a new leadership and we must go beyond all those considerations of yesterday and think about the future of this country and we cannot do it without the women on the driving seat.
“We must have a law on this country giving women and youth a percentage in all electoral positions and every position in Nigeria”, he added.
Also, the Vice Presidential Candidate of the APC, Kashim Shettima noted that the Bola Tinubu who is the Presidential Candidate of the party involved many women when he was governor of Lagos State.
He said during his administration as Governor of Borno State, his cabinet is composed of 25 per women.
“The estimate measure of assessing any society is the way they treat their women. In 2023, we are not preparing for Olympics, but an institution that relies on superiority of ideas and track records to show.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the first governor in Nigeria to appoint a woman as Deputy Governor, when he finished his two term as governor of Lagos State, he was given the opportunity to come to the Senate but he declined and rather sent a woman.
“Twelve years ago, when I became the governor of Borno State, I appointed five women Commissioners, that means 25 per cent of my cabinet were women”, he noted.
He, therefore, said the APC government will be friendly to women as they are the backbone of the society. He told the women that the Tinubu administration will fight against abuse of women and prioritise their education.
“An Asiwaju administration will be a government that will be friendly to the women, importantly, they are the backbone of our society, they constitute over 50 per cent of our total population.
“If Nigeria is to reach its full potential, we must give everyone a fair chance to make their best contribution to the well being and betterment of our nation, the growth of our economy and the achievement of our nation rests on equity and the safeguarding of the fundamental human rights and decency in our society.
“Equity and fairness to women will be a top priority of the Tinubu’s administration. We shall establish the following programmes and policies.
“We will promote more female inclusion in politics and governance. Social inclusion and political empowerment, economic empowerment whereby commercial banks would be compelled to support women on businesses nationwide.
“We will fight domestic violence and abuse, educational priority and helping the most disadvantaged in our society, Shettima added.