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Ogun gubernatorial candidates reel out plans for women

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
02 February 2019   |   4:05 am
Gubernatorial candidates in Ogun State have pledged their support to the women in the state to facilitate a level playing ground for women who have been marginalized...

Gubernatorial candidates in Ogun State have pledged their support to the women in the state to facilitate a level playing ground for women who have been marginalized from the decision-making processes, implement 35 per cent affirmative action principle in all areas of public life as well as improve maternal health care and girl-child education.

This was the thrust at an Ogun Women Decide parley organised by the Voice of Ogun Women (VOW) for selected candidates in conjunction with Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Partners West Africa, Nigeria (PWAN) and Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), in the state capital, Abeokuta.

Candidates present at the debate include Princess Eniola Otasanya-Martins of African Access Congress party (AAC), Gboyega Nasir Isiaka of GNI party, Dimeji Bankole of Action Democratic party (AD), Omoniyi Adewale of Abundant Nigeria Renewal party (ANR), Adedapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adekunle Akinlade of Allied People’s Movement (APM), Sina Kawonise of YES party and Ademola Ogunbanjo of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN).

The convener of VOW, Mrs. Doyin Ogunbiyi, said that their objective was to give Ogun women a voice to be respected and reckoned with, to build their self-confidence and create awareness for them to discover their self-worth and potentials. “We seek to educate Ogun women on their rights, to be a reckoning force and reference point in decision-making and implementation on women issues in Ogun state. We must never again shy from raising our voices against social injustice and inequality, it is about human decency and what is right for women.”

Speaking at the event, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Founding Director, WARDC, said the debate provides the opportunity to allow women have direct interactions with candidates, since campaign grounds have been taken over by political gladiators. Our interest is to support voices of women of the state to build alliance with the group, promote transparency, they agreed to implement policies favourable to women with a pledge for integrity, accountability and honesty.

The only female gubernatorial candidate in the Ogun race, Princess Ogunbiyi, said that her government would accommodate 60 per cent of women if elected into office. She also noted that they intend training and retraining personnel in the healthcare sector to ensure that qualified doctors attend to women who seek antenatal services.

The APC candidate, represented by his deputy Noimot Salako-Oyedele, while speaking on their plans for the girl child education said that with the state’s record of literacy, there has only been a decline in the education system right from the grassroots which needs improvement both its infrastructure and personnel.

The candidates also promised to improve the agricultural sector, take steps towards the welfare of women and girls with disabilities, create more jobs to benefit women, provide social protection for widows, children and vulnerable groups, support and develop gender responsive budgeting and policies.

The event, which had in attendance women from various professional and religious groups including market women and artisans, was supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

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