Ahead of the 2023 general election, Nigerian women have sounded a note of caution to governorship and presidential aspirants, saying their votes will go the way of those who include women in the scheme of things.
The women who are top entrepreneurs, professionals across major sectors, media executives, ace Nollywood actresses, among others, gathered in their numbers in the Federal Capital Territory yesterday to honour governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State with a distinguished ‘Hero of Women Inclusion Award’ at the grand finale of the Nigerian Women Arise for Nigeria (NIWAFON) awareness campaign.
The women based their support on the fact that the Kogi State governor had surpassed the United Nations’ 35 per cent affirmative action and had appointed women in strategic positions in his government.
The president, National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Barr. Vera Ndanusa, who led the women entrepreneurs to the awareness programme, particularly noted that Nigerian women were behind the Governor for his unflinching belief in their ability to resolve knotty issues and right the wrongs in Nigeria.
“Thank God for governor Yahaya that has given positions of power to women and has surpassed the 35 per cent affirmative action.
“Women must rise to support him, that is why we have made him our hero. The success story being recorded in Kogi State strengthens the saying that behind a successful man is a woman,” she said.
She said other governors should emulate him and aspire to receive the distinguished award.
The 1st vice president of NIWAFON, Yeye Ifeyinwa Omowole, said women in Nigeria are ready to sue the Kogi governor if he refused to declare his intention to run for presidency.
According to her, Kogi is working because women are manning strategic positions in the state.
She said, “Show me another state where a woman is the ADC of the governor. This is not enough, the secretary to the State Government is a woman: the Head of Service is a woman; all the vice chairmen of the local governments are women, among many other female appointees.
“We will mobilise support for that one leader that has taken us above the levels of yesteryears. We will support governor Bello all the way because he knows how to make a nation great.”
The president, National Association of Women Journalists, Ladi Bawa, urged Nigerian women to arise and speak with one voice.
“I am happy that we are recognising one man that has done a lot for women. We as women must rise and be actively involved in politics, aspire to be governors. Others must know that if we must support them, they must be fair in terms of gender equity,” the NAWOJ president said.
“Today, Yahaya Bello is who we see and we will support him,” she added.
Ace actress, Binta Ayo Mogaji, also led other screen divas to demand for the rights of women in Nigeria and to eulogise the Kogi governor for his feat in women inclusion and good governance.