Khadijat Saidu, Birning Kebbi
The women’s wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kebbi State hosted its first presidential town hall meeting in Birnin Kebbi.
In attendance was the Wife of the APC Presidential Candidate Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, the Wife of Vice Presidential candidate Nana Shettima, the wife of the Speaker Federal Republic of Nigeria Mrs. Salamatu Gbajabiamilla, First Lady of Imo state Barr Chioma Uzodima, wife of Sokoto State APC Gubernatorial Candidate amongst others.
The Townhall meeting was organized to facilitate closer engagement and exchange of ideas across various sectors of women’s development such as entrepreneurship, health, agriculture, and politics.
In response to questions, Sen. Oluremi Bola Tinubu emphasized the need for respect and unity among diverse traditions and religions.
On Education, she promised to put incentives in place to encourage children to go back to school. While answering a question on health, Senator Tinubu reflected back to Ilera Eko- the successful Lagos state health insurance scheme which can be replicated nationwide.
On gender violence, she expressed delight the laws are now in place in all but one state. She said she will place more emphasis on advocacy to implement the laws and work to see perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.
Sen. Oluremi Tinubu expressed her gratitude to the women present and the opportunity to chart a new course.
Speaking earlier, Her Excellency Nana Shettima, emphasized the importance of education for the growth and advancement of women and the youth. She said, “A vote for Tinubu/Shettima’s presidency is a vote for a peaceful Nigeria”.
Wrapping up, the zonal coordinator of the North West campaign team, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu stated that the 1000 women present represent only a fraction of the teeming women that support APC in Kebbi state.
Haj Nasare Nasir Idris, the wife of the Kebbi APC gubernatorial candidate, emphasized the good works of Dr. Zainab Bagudu and encouraged women to vote for the APC to sustain these works.
Contributing to the economy, the commissioner for budget and economic planning Dr. Umar Abba Sani Kalgo outlined the Kebbi state government interventions for women, including a program impacting 79,000 women with training on gender and life skills, saving skills, and helping children return to school. He said without the support and buy-in of women in leadership like Dr. Bagudu, the program will not succeed.
Chairperson Kebbi state HILWA, Haj Asmau Alkali who delivered the opening remarks, acknowledged the 76 organizations represented by the women present.
Speaking on behalf of women in Politics, Hon Tsahara Bawa who served as women’s leader, LG Chairman, and commissioner, said women must support each other to make progress. In that vein, she appreciated the goodwill of the APC in Kebbi where women get appointed to the executive council and local government councils. This is another reason to vote for APC.
Dr. Ganiyat Olatunji spoke about the Medical Women’s organization, which is dedicated to improving the health of women, with programs on oral health, cancer screening, and career guidance. With the incoming government, maternal healthcare indices are expected to improve further.
Dr. Halima Muhd Bande, a lecturer, discussed the low level of girl child education and the role of HILWA in advocating for and motivating girls to return to school. With more than 25% of out-of-school students returning to school, the incoming government was encouraged to give education high priority.
Barr Sa’adatu Illo the 2020 National MSME Award Wiiner and SME Ambassador from Kebbi who currently exports cooking spices explained how SMEs are thriving with the support of Federal Govt agencies such as Nexim and NEPC and State Government interventions.
Haj Hadiza Kola, a female farmer, spoke about the support received from the state government, which has put female farmers in a better place. She encouraged women to farm even in their backyards and called on the wives of APC candidates to support such small-scale farmers if elected.
Highlights of the occasion were a curtsey visit to the Royal father the Emir of Gwandu by The APC presidential candidate’s wife’s senators Oluremi Tinubu, Nana Shetima, and other delegations.