Re-elect me in 2019, Buhari begs women

…Throws full weight behind 35 percent female representation for women

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated his support for 35 percent affirmative action and the and Equal Opportunity Bill now before the National Assembly.

 

President Buhari announced his support at the national summit for female aspirants from all political parties , hosted by his wife, Dr. Aisha Buhari in collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), the National Councilย for Women Societies (NCWS) and Women In Politics Forum (WIF).

But Buhari’s support for women wasn’t up to the level of the office of the president as he called on women to re-elect him in 2019.

 

He said: “Women constitute more than 50 percent of voters, and are by experience more dedicated and principled than their male counterparts.

“Politicians rely on women voters because their word is usually their bond.ย ย Women stand by candidates they believe in all the way so politicians do a lot to gain their confidence.ย ย On this note, let me recall and thank Nigerian women who put their confidence in me and voted for me in 2015. It is my hope that the confidence is still there; seeing this gathering. I am confident that it will remain.

 

”ย Nigeria is a country of opportunities and possibilities. It is blessed with productive and skilled manpower, coupled with resources still being harnessed. With the right leadership at all levels, appropriate mindset and strong institutions, we can attain great heights”, he said.

“A few months ago, I met with female parliamentarians and they raised issues concerning the passage of Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill now before the National Assembly and the implementation of 35 percent affirmative action, among others. I am fully in support of both positions because these measures will improve the representation of women in our politics.

 

”ย Let me add my voice to the call on women to contest for political offices and effect the changes they want to see. I am confident that women can make great leaders and move the nation forward”, the President added.

On her part, Mrs. Buhari charged women to jettison politics of nepotism and convenience, advising that female politicians strictly adhere to politics of ideology and transparency.

She indentified politicians who fuel violence with drug addicted youths, politicians who only remember women during elections and those that display traits of nepotism as a set of candidates, women should avoid with the elections fast approaching.

 

She expressed confidence that an unprecedented number of female candidates will emerge during the next elections, even as many more of them will be elected into office.

 

Mrs. Buhari who decried the high rate of drug abuse among youth was however optimistic that Nigerian the younger generation, especially the girls have what it takes to lead the country.

 

She said with the signing into law of the #NotTooYongToRun Bill, by President Buhari, young people are better positioned to take over the reins of government.

 

Director-General of the NCWD, Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta Esq., in her welcome addressed assured the Buhari administration will ensure a level playing field for all candidates in the next election.

 

Ekpere-Eta commended the Wife of the President, for taking the initiative to bring together female politicians from the level of those in the grassroots, to those seeking positions at the state and federal level, for them to confront the challenges, women who present themselves to serve the people often face.

 

“Indeed, by coming together today, Nigeria is only aligning with the renewed global thinkingย  on how to adequately harness the untapped capacity and talents of women and womenโ€™s leadership”, she said.

 

“To get more responsible and people oriented women into public office, women who constitute about 50 percent of our population would have to support and vote for good candidates, especially good female candidates.

 

“Women shouldย  be keen on searching out “he, for she” candidates, men who have well articulated or are already implementing good policies on girl-child education, health care, economic and political empowerment.

 

“Judging by the negative impact of corruption on the country, a good candidate for female voters, must also be that person who isn’t coming to enrich him or herself in politics.

 

“Having called on women to come outย  to vote, to critically examine the candidates and the promises they will be making, today equally presents another occasion to encourage female aspirants to go out there and compete for tickets of the parties they belong to in order to contest for public office”, Ekpere-Eta further said.

 

In her goodwillย  message, President of the NCWS Mrs. Laraba Gloria Shoda,ย  joined Ekpere-Eta in commending Mrs. Buhari for bringing together female aspirants at the right time.

Shoda was of the view that many of the aspirants at the summit and all others across the country will bridge, what she said was the huge leadership gap in the country.

The NCWS leader however counseled women, that they have to come up with good strategies to win elections.

WIF, Founder Mrs. Ebere Ifendu described the convergence ofย  women at the summit held on Thursday August 30 as a signal to greater things ahead of the general elections.

She further described the conference as a ย game changer for female politicians.

Senior Special Assistant on Administration, in the office of the First Lady, Dr. Hajo Sani rated the summit to be a resounding success, calling on the aspirants at the event to build on the knowledge and ideas shares by discussants.

 

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