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2023: Choose female deputies, Aisha Buhari urges presidential aspirants


First Lady Aisha Buhari has called on presidential and governorship candidates in the 2023 general elections to pick women as their running mates.

Mrs Buhari, represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs and Strategy, Muhammad Zorro, said this during the Leadership Newspapers’ annual awards 2021 in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to her, even the Gulf States had started to integrate women in ministerial positions up to 50 per cent.

She said the United Arab Emirates reserves 50 per cent slot for women in ministerial appointments and bureaucracy.

She said, “In 1983, the great Mallam Aminu Kano picked a woman, Mrs. Bola Ogumbo, who should have been in Delta State today, as his running mate.

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“Therefore, it is not asking for too much if aspirants into the offices of Nigerian presidency, governors in the respective states or even chairmen of local governments honour Nigerian women by reserving their deputy positions for women.

“This is very, important. Only yesterday, one of the leading contenders in Kenya, Rahila Odinga, announced that Martha Karua, a leading lawyer, would be his running mate. This will be in addition to the emergence of Mrs. Samiha as President of Tanzania and others in various other parts of the world.

“Some of us who have continued to monitor the advancement of human inclusion in governance in political party administration, and other affairs of society, especially in the Gulf and Middle East states will concur on the emergence of women as leaders either in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and in all parts of Asian countries where women actually have been mainstreamed and integrated into some of the countries up to the level of 50% percent.”

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who bagged the Leadership Person of The Year Award alongside the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, made a case for a country that works for all.

He also spoke of a country that is peaceful and founded on law and order and the rule of law.

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He said, “We agree that we must build a Nigeria where a boy or girl does not say that I’m from the South West or from the North West or the South-South of the North East or the North Central or the South East.

“For that, I am in Nigeria, a citizen of one of the greatest or most prosperous nations on earth. This is the kind of Nigeria that those of us in this political tendency to which Sam Nda-Isaiah’s belong, all attest to, and all believe.”