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Ozigbo hails Nigerian women, calls for legislation to close gender gap

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
12 March 2022   |   2:49 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the November 2021 Anambra governorship election, Valentine Ozigbo, in celebrating International Women’s Day

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the November 2021 Anambra governorship election, Valentine Ozigbo, in celebrating International Women’s Day, has described women as the strongest creation of the Almighty.

In a statement made available to The Guardian from his campaign office in Awka, Anambra State, he hailed Nigerian women and encouraged them to continue being strong and blooming.

In line with this year’s IWD theme, ‘Break the Bias’, the respected business leader said Nigerian women were marking this year’s event with great disappointment, following the gender bills struck out by the House of Representatives during constitutional amendments.

Ozigbo, who is the immediate past president and CEO of Transcorp Plc., said, “It is pretty sad that for Nigerian women, they marked this year’s event with great disappointment over the recent vote by the Nigerian House of Representatives to deny women fundamental equal rights. The vote by the federal lawmakers, of whom an overwhelming majority are men, underscores the work that still needs to be done in the area of women empowerment, education, development, and equality.

“I believe that the Nigerian woman is the pride of our country. She deserves our support, respect, and encouragement. The time of lighting our brightest lamps and hiding them under a bushel is long gone. Women are the greatest gift to our nation, and they deserve better. I, therefore, call for a review of the recent vote by the House of Reps. Our women need to be given the same rights as men in citizenship, transfer of citizenship to their spouses, and equal representation in public life.

“I also call for urgent legislature that would close the gender gap in terms of access to education, healthcare, work opportunities, protections under the law, social discrimination. Our girls and young women need to be given the same opportunities as our boys and men.” While congratulating Nigerian women, he urged them to keep shining brightly.

Ozigbo is a globally recognised advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality. He ran his governorship campaign on the twin anchor of women and youth empowerment.

His campaign organisation had women play powerful and critical roles, and he promised to give women 35 per cent representation in his government.