The presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Muhammudu Buhari, has promised a better future for women and artisans if elected into office.
Speaking at town hall meetings attended by women, artisans and tradesmen, in Lagos, Mr. Buhari said he will implement the 2005 National Gender Policy while also ensuring that gender becomes a component of the federal character which is considered during government appointments.
He said an APC government, under his leadership, has 11 agenda for women.
He pointed out that gender will be mainstreamed throughout all the government’s commitments in key areas such as the economy, education, health, security, good governance, power, agriculture and other areas of national development.
He said he is committed to, “Implementation of the 2005 National Gender Policy, which serves as a roadmap for the promotion of women’s empowerment and gender equality in Nigeria. So far, there has been no political will to implement this very critical framework.
“Promotion of anti-discrimination legislations and policies to afford women equality and equity, especially in 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.
Mr. Buhari also pledged to ensure a woman’s right to own and inherit property on an equal basis with men while also enforcing 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 said, “My administration will have zero tolerance for violence against women and girls. We will provide women with greater legal protection from all forms of violence and sexual harassment, and there will be a commitment to the implementation of all existing legislation on violence against women.”
“My vision is for my daughters, and your daughters, to enjoy a world in which discrimination will be a thing of the distant past,” Mr Buhari pledged. “It might be a long journey, but with your support and votes, we will be on the right path together. Nigerian women have been promised so much for so long.”
While speaking at the town hall meeting with artisans and tradesmen at the Blue Roof event centre of the Lagos State Television on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Buhari, promised artisans and tradesmen across Nigeria soft loans with zero per cent interest to improve their businesses if elected president on March 11.
Mr. Buhari, who spoke in an inaudible voice, stated this while answering questions from artisans. He reiterated that the APC would tackle corruption across all sector of the economy which in turn will translate to jobs for artisans. He also promised to provide loans for artisans. The loan, he noted will have no interest rate as his government will bear the burden of the interest.
“Actually, one of the problems identified which has destroyed the economy is the problem of corruption,” he said. “I assure you the APC government will not be corrupt and condone corruption.”
The former military ruler asked the artisans to vote the PDP out of office.
“I want you to reflect on the past the condition of our roads,” he said. “Where is the Nigerian Airways? How much does Nigeria have from that time till now? It is then you will begin to realize how incompetent the PDP has been. It is your duty to vote it out. Vote PDP out.”
When asked of his plans for Lagos state as a former capital of the nation, Mr. Buhari promised to give Lagos state special attention, while stating that the he has seen the good works of the state government with regards to infrastructures and promised to reimburse the state.
“If APC forms the next government, what each state has spent, particularly on infrastructure, compensation will be made available,” he said.
Also speaking at the town hall meeting, the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu urged the artisans to give their support to the party and vote the APC at all levels. He also accused the federal government of closing its eyes to the stealing of crude oil in the Niger-Delta region.
He told the artisans to send the PDP-led government away.
“We have campaigned, we have explained our manifestoes. It’s now left to you to vote us. This is a government that doesn’t give you light, increases tariff, you must send this government away.”
Commenting on the anti-Attahiru Jega rally organized by the Oodua Peoples Congress in the state on Monday, Mr. Tinubu urged the artisans to defend themselves if attacked by the OPC.
“They’ve asked one boy, Gani Adams, to fight posters,” Mr. Tinubu said. “If he fights any of you, you know what to do. You have my endorsement, defend yourself.”