Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged women to use their strength to canvass votes for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the 2023 general election.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at the closing of a three-day 22nd National Women’s Conference (NWC), organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), recalled how Tinubu, as governor, revived the economy of Lagos State from bankruptcy in 1999.
He said: “The way to build the nation of our collective dreams is for women to mobilise their husbands, cousins and children to vote for Tinubu, who has a track excellent performance.”
The governor, represented Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat, said: “We are a nation of history, but part of our problem is that we have forgotten our history; we have westernised ourselves and this has broken our developmental trend. How do we bring it back? We must bring it back by allowing people who have precedents to do the work. It is as simple as that.
“People forget that in 1999, Lagos State was bankrupt; this state did not have an ambulance in 1999. Only seven per cent of the roads were tarred in 1999. So, a lot has happened and the foundation was laid by Asiwaju Tinubu. If we want a nation our children and grandchildren will be happy with, even happier than us, it is time to vote for a man who has done it before. We must look at what people have done and how they did it.
“We are not being sentimental; we are just saying let us move our country forward. We belong to the nation of the disciplined and respected. We are a very important people, and the future of the black man in the world rests on Nigeria, and we should not miss this opportunity.”
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, who was special guest at the closing, called for social welfare programmes as a sure way to pull Nigerians out of poverty and end insecurity.
He said women empowerment should top the social welfare campaign, especially seeing that “women are usually confronted with socio-cultural hurdles that prevent their participation in governance and development and undermine their ability to contribute to societal development, which is exacerbated by poverty and lack of skills and formal education.”
Zulum advocated community leadership and civic engagement skills as essential tools that would enable young women to participate in governance and development.
The governor, represented by the Attorney-General of the state, Hauwa Abubakar, said: “Young women need to be seen as partners in governance and development. And for this to happen, we must change men’s negative belief and attitude towards young women; give young women skills and education that will enable their participation; and facilitate open communication about the barriers to young women’s participation.
“I, therefore, urge young women to encourage one another and take advantage of this support. State governments should also create and facilitate a conducive environment for young women to realise their potential. Governments must campaign assiduously against the trafficking of young women and children with a view to preventing this ugly trend and inhuman activity.”
Lagos State governor’s wife and COWLSO Chairman, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, urged women to embrace a forward thinking mindset, saying “henceforth, our women must be forward thinking and unite to move forward.”
She was confident that discussions at the conference would elevate the status of women to spring forth and stand out in all spheres of life.