Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Lagos affirmed that his administration will have zero tolerance for violence against women just as he formally took responsibility for actions taken under his stewardship as head of state.
Buhari spoke at two separate interactive sessions with the women in Lagos yesterday. He spoke as Governor Rotimi Amaechi commended Buhari’s wife as a true epitome of womanhood saying she has been well groomed as a lady preparatory to stepping in as First Lady. Governor Amaechi at the ceremony debunked attacks on him by First Lady Patience Jonathan saying that the same woman attacking him as a son cannot do so.
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State also at the sessions also flayed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP led Federal Government for failing to bring back the abducted Chibok girls.
Giving his tone on gender issues, Buhari said: “Our administration will ensure promotion of anti-discrimination legislations and policies to afford women equality and equity, especially in the areas of employment, education, housing and entrepreneurship. We shall commit ourselves to merit based Affirmative Actions to level the playing field for women and provide them with opportunities to be part of decision-making and governance at all levels while we will include gender as a component of the federal character.
“There will be strong political will to promote Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality through dedicating the required financial, human and technical resources toward this goal and we will make a concerted effort to empower women in rural areas who constitute majority of the Nigerian women. We will enforce legal protection for the rights of the girl-child in all areas of religious, social and economic life, protecting her right to dignity, shelter and choice.”
He went further, “Nigerian women have always played a visible and competent role in nation building. In addition to their various activities which sustained communities in pre-colonial times, they also played key roles in the struggles for independence and the political processes that followed.”
Flaying the country’s high rate of maternal and child mortality which he said is among the highest in the world, he said he was determined to rescue Nigeria’s fading glory. “I am on a mission to restore Nigeria’s fading glory and reposition our great nation on the path to greatness. I am however aware that this will not be possible without addressing the needs and concerns of those who constitute half of the population of this country which are women. As the father of a number of promising young women, I should know what it means to want the very best for my own daughters.”
Taking responsibility for actions done in his name as military head of state, particularly the execution of drug peddlers and the promulgation of Decree Number 4 limiting press freedom, he said: “As military head of state, there are two things I did and I have since accepted them as a leader. It is true that the bulk of everything lands on the table of Mr President, so the things that happened, I accept my responsibility but I cannot undo the past but as a President of the future, I have taken note.
“The two issues anyone can accuse me of is the shooting of drug pushers and decree number four which affects the Journalists. If you do your research well, you will realize the reason why the Supreme Military Council of that time took those decisions”.
Buhari also drew questions from a cross section of the audience including leading stars of Nollywood, artisans and women from different professions.
Speaking at the event, Rivers State Governor and Director General of the APC Campaign, Governor Rotimi Amaechi described insinuations about Buhari as being a religious bigot as unfounded.
He said, “We have brought him here so that you ask him questions as you want, so that you can see that the other party has been feeding the country with lies. We have brought him here so that you can see that this man that is being demonised is after-all a human being and is not what they say he is and he is a man of his words.
“He is not a Christian but a Muslim, but Christians work with him. He told me two things when we started this campaign, he said to me I will give you 16 hours of my time but allow me my own 6 hours.
He also told me that throughout his life, he allows Sundays for Christian who works with him, so he asked me to remove Sundays from our programmes so that his workers that are Christians can attend their churches.
“If you are conversant with our campaigns, you will realize we don’t do campaigns on Sunday. And what I find difficult was that during the Christmas season, we should have started our campaigns, he said no, this is the season the Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we will not campaign until after that time. Can this man be a religious bigot? Who is lying”? He queried.
He further said, “ They claimed General Buhari said that women should be in the kitchen but I can say with all sense of seriousness that have never seen his wife spend the whole day in the kitchen, I have also seen Hajia Buhari campaign, she is an epitome of a true woman, very gentle. You heard Professor Wole Soyinka saying you need to become a lady before assuming the position of a First lady. She has never abused the President and she has never talked against any man who has even abused her husband but our other woman says am her son and she has been abusing me. So if that my mother is a lady, she should please behave like a lady”.
This election is about Nigeria’s future — Gov Fashola
In his remarks, Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola urged Lagosians to vote out the PDP because Mr President has not fulfilled any of the promises he made to them in 2011.
He flayed the government for turning its back on the Chibok girls.
Personalities present at the event included; National leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Lagos, Mr Akin Ambode, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, deputy governor of Osun state, Mrs Laoye Tomori, deputy governor of Lagos state, Orelope Adefulire, former governor of Ekiti state, Mr Segun Oni, wife of former governor of Ekiti state, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Lagos state first lady, Mrs Dame Fashola, former Minister of state for defence, Mr Demola Seriki, Mr Patrick Obahiagbon, Hon. Abike Dabiri among many others.
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