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Ita-Giwa, women group in Lagos rally support for Jonathan


FORMER Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, at the weekend, lauded the Goodluck Jonathan administration for being the first of its kind to empower more women by giving them more space in his cabinet, hence, urging the over 5,000 women who converged on Eko Hotel and Suites to vote en masse for the administration’s continuity.

   According to Ita-Giwa, who is popularly referred to as Mama Bakassi, “Nigerian women should no longer be satisfied with being handed party ticket to contest political positions but should be key political players.

   She described President Jonathan as a champion of women who would still do more for them if re-elected in 2015, saying that he deserved their vote to enable him accomplish more for them to the level of 50-50 representation in government.

   The group, known as ‘Women in Action’ had in attendance the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, who represented the Special Guest, Dame Patience Jonathan. In her remark, she said President Jonathan runs the most ever women-friendly administration than any past regime and will do more by appointing more women in positions of authorities if voted in for a second term in office.

   According to her, two women have so far been elevated as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, adding that Jonathan’s administration had recorded 16 women as ministers in the 42-member cabinet “with highly strategic portfolios, which until now appeared reserved for men.

   “These include Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Water Resources, Minister of Communications, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, first ever female Chief Justice of the Federation; first President of the Court of Appeal; first ever female Admiral of the Nigerian Navy; first female military pilot; first ever female Minister of Petroleum and OPEC President and many more.

   “The president’s efforts have also galvanised the private sector to accord women greater respect in the boardrooms of corporate Nigeria. The absence of prejudice against women in all the economic stimulation interventions of the present administration has resulted in a significant participation of women in the ‘You WIN’ and YEAP (Youth Empowerment in Agriculture) programmes.”

   While thanking the women for what she called their unflinching support for the administration in the last four years without, which she said, the journey would have been tougher, the  president’s wife of the urged the women forum to re-elect President Jonathan in 2015.

   Former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, former Speaker Titi Oseni, Mrs. Kafilat Ogbara, among others addressed the gathering after which a communiqué was adopted.

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