The Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, has stated that those opposed to zoning of elective offices in the state were now in support of it.
Mr. Aliyu stated this in an address made during a courtesy visit by 14 female aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party vying for different positions.
He said while he is delighted that women in Niger State have braved all odds to seek elective positions, they must observe the zoning arrangements which affects all elective positions in the state.
“I am an advocate of zoning formula in Niger state. If not for the zoning arrangement, maybe I wouldn’t be governor today,” he said. “We have defeated most of the opponents of the existing zoning arrangement in the state but some are still against it; but I’m happy they are yielding already. Whatever position you are looking for, we must stick with the zoning arrangement.”
Mr. Aliyu said he is happy women are participating in politics. He said there is need for women to continue to vie for elective positions. He said it will promote girl child education, ensure gender balance and reduce negative impression against women in politics.
He further said women have done very well in his administration since 2007. He added that those who have served as ministers since he assumed office as governor have made the state proud. He also lauded the achievement of women in his cabinet.
The governor, therefore, expressed optimism that the 14 women will compete favourably well in the primaries and at the polls; saying they are qualified academically and administratively to occupy elective positions of their choice.
Meanwhile, the leader of the 14 female aspirants, Hauwa Usman, thanked the governor for assisting women in the state actualize their ambitions. She said the present administration has recorded the highest number of women in sensitive positions in Niger.