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Nigeria at 58: More calls for women to take charge

Director General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Barr. Mary Ekpere-Eta (left); the Egbere Emere Okori Eleme, Rivers State, HRH Appolus Chu; President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo at the event


As Nigeria clocks 58 this month, there has been more outcries that women should be given opportunity to be at the helm of affairs of the country, considering the fact that given the chance, they would perform better than their male counterparts.This was the view of HRH Appolus Chu, the Egbere Emere Okori Eleme, Rivers State, who chaired a women’s summit recently in Abuja.

The summit, which was tagged ‘Increasing Women’s Participation in Nigeria’s Democratic Process’ was held in the Federal Capital Territory and organised by the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), National Council for Women Societies and Women in Politics Forum in collaboration with the Office of the Wife of the President.HRH Chu applauded the role and contributions of women to the development of the society, describing them as effective managers who need to be encouraged. She charged the women to be confident in themselves and learn to support one another.

“Women are doing extremely well in various organisations and in whatever portfolio they are given. Nigerian women are not known for sabotaging government efforts, they are diligent managers and we have seen that mostly from those occupying ministerial positions and other top offices across the federation.”The summit, which is geared towards strategizing means to strengthen women’s participation in politics and encourage gender equality, had in attendance President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari.

HRH Chu commended the organisers for coordinating women from across the federation to discuss the way forward and also ensure that women were encouraged and accommodated in the scheme of things in the country, especially in the political terrain. “I must specially thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife for their support to women irrespective of political party affiliations. Bringing them together in this gathering truly depicts the beauty of true leadership. I strongly commend His Excellency for his anti-corruption crusade as this has gone a long way rebranding our image in the international community”.

Present at the event were wives of governors, political party leaders, female political aspirants from the 36 states and other concerned citizens.One of the participants, Ms Janet Febisola Ola Adeyemi, a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a fellow of the Geological Society of Nigeria, who has shown interest in running for Senate having notably served in the House of Representative at several points, said: “One of the critical points is that Nigeria cannot continue to slide down the rope. The National Assembly is supposed to be a place for making good laws. We need to revise our laws in Nigeria and make them adaptable to the development of our country.”

A female governorship aspirant in Benue State Engr. Roseline Ada Chenge, who has had unsuccessful attempts at politics in the past but has still not given up hope, shared her bitter experience. “It has been pains all through. We are grateful our Excellency is here today to hear us. I am re-contesting and this is my third time. I am so encouraged because I know that this time around, our pains will not be in vain. In 2015 election, I came second runner-up to Samuel Ortom of Benue State and here I am today still on it because of women. I am contesting to be governor of Benue state come 2019 on the platform of APC and I believe that there would be peace. Benue needs peace and it is only a woman that can give peace to Benue, where every resident will have peace, every visitor will be welcomed and our children will not be killed.”

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