Sen. Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate, of All Progressives Congress (APC), says women’s matters will be prioritized if elected the president in the 2023 general election.
Tinubu spoke, on Tuesday, at the Voice of Women (VOW) 2022 Conference and Awards organized by Women Radio 91.7FM supported by MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.
Tinubu, who was represented by the APC vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, said “the ultimate assessment of any society is the way you treat women.”
According to him, if you educate a man, you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.
“It is easy to talk, but can we walk the talk? This is a big question to all,” he said.
Shettima said though the 2023 poll is not a form of an Olympic game, one’s track record is an important factor in the election.
“Asiwaju was the first governor to appoint a woman as deputy governor in the country,” he said.
Besides, he said Tinubu supported a lot of women to be lawmakers both at the state and national levels, including appointing them into key offices.
Shettima also said that when he was Borno governor, a number of women were appointed as commissioners.
“Asiwaju government will be a government that will be friendly to our women.
“Equity and fairness to women will be a top priority of the Asiwaju government,” he said.
He said the government would be committed to social inclusion and political empowerment of women.
Shettima, who assured that education for women would be a priority, said domestic violence against women and all forms of abuse would be fought by the government.
“Asiwaju is competent and he has a track record of excellence and achievement,” he said.
Also speaking, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, said if any candidate comes to them with promises, “let us ask him what has he done before.”
He said when he was Anambra governor, women’s issue was given priority.
He said his chief of staff, commissioner for finance, and commissioner of local government affairs, among others, were women.
“And I can say that they were far more productive than men.
“For me, women are critical if we want to get Nigeria moves forward.
“We have to take the 50 percent of the population we are neglecting today seriously.
“I will be committed and I said this is my past and you can go and check.
“It is not about I will fight corruption but checking the last place I left.
“The last place I left, I left N150 million dollars in the coffers,” he said.
He said like in Bangladesh, women, and youth should be given a percentage in all electoral positions which must be spelled out in the law.
Obi said as the country prepares for the next election, Nigerians must go beyond the consideration of yesterday and chart a new way forward.
“Don’t vote for me because I am from the South East, or I am an Igbo man, etc.
“It should be based on the character of the person; his competence and commitment to change things,” he said.
The presidential candidate of Action Alliance (AA), retired Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha, said to be a president is not about qualifications but the knowledge and skill one possesses.
“We want our women to be reformed,” he said
He said a new bill to ensure more women’s participation in governance should be passed into law.
He said he would enter a legal agreement with women to be committed to their course.
“In Action Alliance, we will enter into a legal agreement, and everything we say, we will do.
“We have been deceived for years and there is no time for that anymore.
“Let every candidate you are going to vote for tell you how is he going to ensure this,” he said
Al-Mustapha said that if a candidate is elected as president and fails to fulfill the promises he made, this would afford Nigerians to sue him and his government.
Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Executive Director, of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), said the women were ready to hold all the presidential candidates accountable for their promises.
“We need your full attention about what Nigerian women want.
“We are tired of things heard and not seen. It becomes very important to re-strategize.
“We will not take from any government who will not respect women. We are standing here today to tell you what Nigerian women want,” she said.
Akiyode-Afolabi, however, lamented over the low rate of women vying for political offices across the states in the forthcoming general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other presidential candidates at the event include Ado-Ibrahim Abdulmalik of the Young Progressives Party; Dumebi Kachikwu of the African Democratic Congress and Adebayo Adewole of the Social Democratic Party.
NAN reports that the 6th edition of the VOW Conference hosted presidential candidates to speak on their plans and commitments to Nigerian women.
However, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was conspicuously absent at the occasion and was not represented either.