By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Women from across Nigeria gathered in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in their thousands for a solidarity walk in support of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who they say has all it takes to be President of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari.
The women from 600 groups across the six geo-political zones of the country and across key sectors, including Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organisations, religious, professional bodies, politics, Nollywood, market women, as well as top women entrepreneurs, among others, stormed the Department of Arts and Culture Exhibition Pavilion, to show their support for the Governor.
The women, under the umbrella of Women United for Yahaya Bello (WUYABEL), after their solidarity walk, tagged, “One Million Women March for Yahaya Bello”, maintained that they are ready now to put their weight behind the Governor and prove that the era of what they described as “bread and butter” politics is over in Nigeria.
Stamping their call for a Yahaya Bello Presidency, the women took turns to address the press, while calling on the Federal Government to introduce relief measures to alleviate the pains of the masses.
President, National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Vera Ndanusa, said the crowd that participated in the march is evidence that “whenever you empower a woman, you reap the benefits many times over”.
According to her, women empowerment should be top priority for the Nigeria government as a whole.
Nollywood Actress, Binta Ayo-Mogaji, who led many other stars, including Ayo Adesanya, Dupe Jaiyesinmi, Rose Odika, Lanre Hassan (Mama Awero) and Madam Kofo, among many others, to the event, referred to the commendation by the Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Taylor.
She said the Liberian VP acknowledged Bello’s strides, adding that Nigerian women must support that one Governor that had shown them massive support.
Commending the turnout, which she said was one of the most impressive she had seen in recent times, Mogaji urged the Federal Government to pay more attention to the needs of women.
The Global President, WUYABEL, Dr Hannatu Adeeko, said she is fascinated by the giant strides of the Kogi Governor in his state, saying he had surpassed the prescribed quota for women, globally.
Adeeko, a consultant physician, who flew into Nigeria from the United States for the march, said the state is working because women hold strategic positions in Governor Bello’s cabinet.
“Nigerian women have thrown their weights behind Governor Yahaya Bello to show their appreciation for his support and because of the capacity he has displayed in various areas such as security, education, unity of his people and other critical areas posing challenges to the entire country,” she said.
On her part, the Iyaloja-General, South-West, Mrs Nike Akingboye, said with the massive turnout, the women of Nigeria, regardless of tribe or religion, have shown that they are really united behind their own.
According to her, “market women are in total support of the Governor and would mobilise massively for him if he declares for Presidency.”