Umuoji Women Mobilise Support For Buhari, APC
AS Nigerians count down to the rescheduled Presidential election slated for March 28, the support base of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) got a boost last week from Umoji Women Association, Umuoji of Anambra State, Lagos Branch.
The women association at a meeting held in Amuwo-Odofin, threw their weight behind the candidature of the former military Head of State, with a determination to go back to their community to mobilise more women to ‘vote for change’ at the poll.
The association is the village meeting of women from Umoji community, which holds its meetings bi-monthly, to discuss general issues that affect the community and women, by analysing areas of need and setting agenda to assist their children.
The gathering was a new beginning for the women, who were clad in the same attire, to boost the aspiration of Buhari. It was like a mini-rally, as they sang, danced and unanimously demanded monumental and positive change in the country. The common song in the lips of the women was change, which they collectively believe can only be achieved by voting the APC candidate.
They based their determination on the policy framework of Buhari and his party, which dwells on transforming Nigeria from its present state, through constant electricity supply, massive employment opportunities, good governance, investment opportunities, among others.
The spokesperson of the group, Mrs. Bernadine Ifeoma Eloka, who was the host told Journalists that the gathering was meant to seek more support for APC, by embarking on massive mobilisatiion of women in Igboland to boost Buhari’s chances at the poll, which can give Nigerians the needed change for a better Nigeria.
She disclosed that her people are mobilising more support for APC, because of their discovery that it is the right party with the right candidate to give Nigeria and Nigerians the needed change for a better Nigeria
“APC is a party for change. We are tired of empty promises, which our politicians have always failed to fulfill. This is the opportunity we have to tell other women what we have discovered about Buhari. We need a man who is angry with the state of the nation as it affects the masses, to bring positive change. Our people are angry for lack of basic amenities and poverty in the land.
“Look at our economy, instead of improving it is deteriorating. Look at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), we look at the old structures that were built in the 1960s and we asked a question that if the country can build that type of structures in the 60s, what is happening to Nigeria today? Getting that structure in Nigeria today is like impossibility,” she said.
The women mobiliser swept aside sentiments of some of her kinsmen on Buhari’s candidature, stressing that it does not matter where a candidate hails from, especially if the person possesses good leadership qualities to salvage the country from its predicament for a positive change that is missing.
“So many things are wrong, look at the state of our roads, look at the challenges of investing in the country, foreigners don’t have confidence here anymore, because they are not sure of tomorrow in terms of government policies and security. What we are looking for is a government that would build confidence in foreigners. If we can have constant power supply and security that will attract a lot of foreign investors into this country. You’ll find out that if we achieve this, the issue of unemployment will be addressed. We need that leader that is angry because enough is enough, we need to move forward.”
She advised fellow women to stop thinking as slaves, but to form a formidable force and have one voice to address issues of women in Nigeria, particularly in the area of women’s rights. She called on them to support change that will equally affect women and to recognise that women have a key role to play in Nigeria.
“Our support for Buhari is hinged on the fact that he, as a former Head of State doesn’t have too much assets in Nigeria and also across the world like others. I believe that with him, the level of corruption in Nigeria will be reduced to the barest minimum, because he would block all the leakages in all the sectors.
“APC is a party for change. We are tired of lips and empty promises, which our politicians have always failed to fulfill. We now say, we need leaders that are angry, who need to move this country forward, a leader who wants to return sanity to this country, a leader who will give us hope and confidence to be proud Nigerians. We want leaders that can rebrand Nigeria for us to regain popularity in the comity of nations,” Eloka said.
Said she, “Judging from the faces of our people, no doubt, they’ll take this campaign further to more women, to also preach the gospel of change, to vote massively for Buhari. He is a man that has the interest of Nigeria at heart. We need good future for our children, and so far, this party is willing and committed to bring change, that is the only thing they want to know. Our women are there for them.”
A member of the group, who is also an activist, Amara Metuh, lamented that Nigerian women are disturbed about the state of the nation, because they have been pushed to the background in the scheme of things.
She noted that as the election is around the corner, women generally are worried, stressing that in a sane society it should not be so, but it is essential for women to participate effectively.
“We should ensure that the right things are done and the right people elected. We should also hold the people we are electing accountable. Women should look into the individual agenda of the candidates and embrace whoever his or her agenda is attractive. We want to be sure of what they have in store for us, they should be able to better the lives of women and children. By the time a woman is empowered and her issues are well treated, the country will be okay. Women should have an enabling playing ground to play politics,” she said.
She stressed the need for women to be given a pride of place, a platform to air their opinions. “In my home, my husband can be a card-carrying member of a party and I, a card-carrying member of another party; that should not be a problem, for the Nigerian state, we should endeavour to bring the needed change. Our youths should no longer be used as agents of political conflicts. Nigeria as a state is sitting on a keg of gun powder, responsibility behooves on us that crisis should not erupt in the country.”
To her, employment, good leadership and good governance are what Nigerians are seeking to get enabling environment where things are functional, adding that the change the country is demanding is a political change.
A former secretary of the group, Bridget Uwajaku, said it is time for the much-sought change to take place in the country. “Certainly, we must have a change, because the past and present political office holders have failed to fulfill all the promises made to the electorate, that is African politics of this period.”
She noted that this present regime has failed to meet the aspiration of people who voted them into office, assuring that she will definitely vote the presidential candidate of the APC because the country has suffered serious hardship, adding that Buhari seems to be a better candidate for now.
“I am very sure that the APC candidate can rebuild Nigeria and also bring the needed change. Though he had ruled the country before, he has certainly learnt his mistakes and knows those areas where he needs to make amend. We need constant electricity; we need jobs for our youths. We need change; we want Nigeria to move forward. I don’t believe in the insinuation in some quarters that if Buhari is elected he will Islamise Nigeria, I see this as a wrong mentality.”
Also, a woman leader, Mrs. Nneka Nkana, stated that change is essential at this point in time, especially to rescue the jobless youths, provided adequate healthcare services and low-cost housing for the masses, among other things. She said there is need to have another experience of Nigeria of old, where standard of living is okay.
“We are yearning for change, we need change, though we cannot force individuals to vote for a particular candidate, we just have to educate them to vote rightly for the right candidate, but if they still show indifference, there is nothing we can do.”
The woman leader emphasised the need for a peaceful election for Nigeria to still stay together as a nation, urging all the political parties to keep to their promises and ensure a free, fair and credible election.
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