BORNO State Governor, Babagana Zulum on Thursday called for an increase in issues of social welfare as a way of pulling many Nigerians out of poverty and tackling insecurity, noting this can be achieved through women empowerment.
Speaking as the special guest of honour at the closing ceremony of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Prof. Zulum, who was represented by the Borno State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hauwa Abubakar, said: “Issues of social welfare as a way of pulling many Nigerians out of poverty and tackling insecurity must be increased through women empowerment.”
At the event, themed: “Spring Forth, Stand Out,” organized by COWLSO in Lagos Zulum said that this can only be achieved through women empowerment, which is one of the key objectives of the COWLSO.
Calling on government at all levels to campaign assiduously against the trafficking of young women and children with a view to preventing the ugly trend and inhuman activity, Zulum appealed to government at all levels in the country and donor agencies to encourage and assist women empowerment programmes so as to bring about the much needed development.
He said that individuals, groups and organisations and government at all levels must collaborate and “strive hard to improve the situation of young women in Lagos and Nigeria.”
Describing the occasion as a historic one, Governor Zulum said that there is an “urgent need to take action to empower women to handle all the forces that stifle the development of many enterprising young women in Lagos State.”
The Borno governor, therefore, urged all the state governments to create and facilitate conducive environment for young women to realise their potentials.
He lamented that women are usually confronted with socio-cultural hurdles that prevent their participation in governance and development.
These hurdles, the Borno governor said, “Undermine women’s ability to fully contribute to societal development, which is exacerbated by poverty and lack of skills and formal education in our communities.
“We must strive hard to improve the situation of young women in Lagos and Nigeria by collaborating with well meaning individuals, groups and organisations. We must, therefore, recognize community leadership and civic engagement skills as essential tools that will enable young women to participate in governance and development.”
He said young women need to be seen as partners in governance and development, Zulum asserted that for it to happen, three things must be done: “Men’s negative beliefs and attitude towards young women must be changed; young women must be given the skills and education that will enable their participation; open communication about the barriers to young women’s participation should be facilitated.”
While urging the women to encourage one another to take advantage of this support, he said that “it is vital to empower young women by supporting them to handle their educational and professional lives so as to enhance their ability to raise their voices against violence.
Young women, he said, are also encouraged to participate in the agricultural development of the state through the provision of fertilizer, improved seeds and tractors hiring provided at affordable rates.
To ensure that young women are established, Zulum said that skills acquisition centres where women are taught different trades should be increased and managed well just as is done in Borno State.
Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, urged women to use their power as nation builders to restore the Nigeria to the path of developmental trend by voting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Because women are extremely significant” to nation building, they must exert their power by voting for Tinubu, who he said, has the required precedents to build the country.
“No woman no nation! What that means is that if we want to build the nation, we must go out to pull our husbands and children to go and vote for Tinubu.”
According to Sanwo-Olu: “If we want to build our country, we must mobilize our family members and friends to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We are not sentimental, we want to move our country forward. The future of the black race rests on Nigeria.”
Chairperson of COWLSO and wife of the state governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said it was time for women to lend their voice to insecurity issues and poverty eradication in the country.
She noted that of the about 261 borders in the country, over 137 are porous, Dr. Sanwo-Olu said: “The situation demands firm contributions from all strata of the society to address the challenges.
“Women, we need to talk with a lot of confidence. It is time for women to lend out our voice and not leave it only for our men to make sure everyone is a security person. Everyone must be interested in the security issues. We have 261 borders, we have 137 of these borders that are porous.
“It is time for us to lend our voice out there to ensure that this country is safe; to ensure that poverty is eradicated. It is only when poverty is eradicated; it is only when insecurity is eradicated that people would want to come into Nigeria to come and invest,” she said.
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