Presidential Candidates Unveil ‘Woman Agenda’ At VOW Conference 2022

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele

Presidential candidates in the upcoming 2023 general election have unveiled their plans for women if they emerge as presidents in the forthcoming general elections.

The Presidential candidates shared their plans while speaking at the Voice of Women Conference and Awards 2022, an initiative of Women Radio 91.7 and Voice of Women Empowerment Foundation supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party who noted that women are critical to the development of every nation highlighted how he has always given priority to women’s issues as the former Governor of Anambra state.

Obi said, “if any candidate comes to you with promises, let us ask him what has he done before. As the former Governor of Anambra state, my chief of staff, Commissioner for Finance, Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, and Commissioner for Education among others were women.”

He noted that if he emerge into office, he would ensure that 50 percent of Nigeria’s population which has been exempted from the helm of affairs in the country would be strategically positioned in his cabinet.

The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was represented by his vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, said “Asiwaju was the first governor to appoint a woman as deputy governor in the country,” and has 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,” he added.

Also speaking at the VOW conference was the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Prince Adewole Adebayo who said he is committed to advancing women’s issues when he emerges into office.

Adewole also noted that it is important to eliminate every form of violence against women if more women must be involved in politics.

“We must remove violence from our politics if we want women to participate,” he added.

Also present at the conference were the Presidential candidates of the Action Alliance, Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha, Young Progressives Party, Mr. Malik Ado-Ibrahim while the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party was absent.

After their presentations, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), and a member of the VOW Conference and Awards Planning Committee presented the Womanifesto Charter of Demands to the Presidential Candidates, noting that Nigerian women were ready to hold all the presidential candidates accountable on their promises.

Cynthia Mbamalu of Yiaga Africa also stressed that, after emerging into office, the winner would be held responsible based on the commitments presented at the vow Conference 2022.

In attendance at the conference were the convener, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, and Representatives of the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari; the UN Women Country Representative Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong; INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, as well as Women’s rights groups across Nigeria.

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