President Muhammadu Buhari’s Wife, Dr. Aisha Buhari, on Wednesday, led a regional campaign to the Southwest to galvanise women support for All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Mobolaji Johnson Pavilion in Onikan throbbed with political activities, as Lagos hosted the maiden Southwest rally of Tinubu-Shettima Women Presidential Campaign Council (TSWPCT), drawing thousands of women from all the six States in the region.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu joined the women at the rally, after he received the TSWPCT leadership team at the State House in Marina in a courtesy visit.
Mrs. Buhari was represented by the wife of the APC presidential candidate, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu.
In the entourage were Shettima’s wife, Hajiya Nana Shettima, First Lady of Lagos, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Ogun State First Lady, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, Borno First Lady, Dr. Falmata Zulum, wife of Speaker, House of Representatives, Mrs. Salamat Gbajabiamila, Lagos Deputy Governor’s wife, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat, and APC National Women Leader, Dr. Betta Edu, among others.
Sanwo-Olu said creation of a women’s arm of a presidential campaign council was unprecedented in the history of national politics, saying the initiative would reinforce the foundation of gender balance and inclusive governance entrenched within the APC Government.
The Governor described the Tinubu-Shettima presidential ticket as “a national project”, maintaining that the team was the most competent, given the track records of Tinubu and his running mates in governance.
He said: “This is the first time in the history of our democracy that a presidential candidate will have a women’s campaign council working with the party. It goes to show that the Government of Tinubu will sit on the foundation of gender balance and inclusion. I am delighted to see our women organising and putting themselves forward, without watching from the back seats. Women have been on the frontline with us and you have come out to embrace this ticket. This is an assurance that we are on the right track.
“This campaign is not about the success of our party alone, it is also about our future and about the coming generations. When the Government of Tinubu and Shettima is formed, we will ensure that gender friendliness and equality are reflected on every programme of the administration with the youth and women. I commend Dr. Aisha Buhari, who initiated this idea and who has become the rallying point for women who care for the progress of our country. This movement is an evidence Mrs. Buhari is committed to this cause and she is leading from the front.”
Sanwo-Olu hailed TSWPCT for reaching out to women at the grassroots and market women, whom he said would be the beneficiaries of the Tinubu presidency.
The Governor assured that the next APC Government would be purposeful and result-oriented, stressing that the nationwide rallies would further convince undecided voters to root for APC in the general elections.
Sen. Tinubu, who delivered Mrs. Buhari’s message, urged women to probe what she called “deliberate misinformation” being spread about the APC presidential ticket in the social media, advising them to seek information about the track records of all candidates running for president and take decisions based on their findings.
Tinubu-Shettima ticket, she said, remained the only team possessing sterling credentials of performance and competence. Sen. Tinubu said the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC would build a new foundation for unity in the country and would prioritise interests of the youth and women.
She said: “We are in the Southwest with Renewed Hope for our women. APC has given us the best ticket, which seeks to empower and build a better future for our women. Some people call it Muslim-Muslim ticket, but the challenge facing our women today does not identify with any religion. The Tinubu-Shettima ticket is one that will raise the foundation for unity in the country and herald new opportunities for women.
“We have come with the assurance that women can count on us. As First Ladies, Hajiya Shettima and I showed great commitment in empowering women. We are passionate about your wellbeing and personal growth. We work passionately in projects we believe in. We are assuring that challenges facing women and youth unemployment would be on the front burner when Tinubu and Shettima are elected.”
Dr. Sanwo-Olu said the need for consolidation of the achievements recorded under the Buhari administration brought about the establishment of a women campaign committee to improve the chance of APC in forming the next government at the centre.
“At this period of our democratic history, Nigeria needs experienced leaders gifted in intellectual acumen, progressive capacity and political sagacity of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to manage the affairs of the country,” Lagos First Lady said.
Dr. Edu urged women to take the message of Renewed Hope back to their communities and organise door-to-door engagements with undecided voters.