By Moses Adeniyi
Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has emphasized the necessity of why women must become pragmatically engaged in the politics of Nigeria for active participation to take leadership positions.
Akeredolu who berated the performance of men saying they have failed to find lasting solutions to the plethora of problems bedeviling the country, said it’s high time women came into the scene to vitalise the system.
In his assertion that “men have never led this country properly,” Akeredolu posited that men need women in order to proffer solutions to pressing needs in the Country.
Akeredolu who spoke as the Special Guest of Honour at the hybrid 2021 National Women’s Conference (NWC) organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) held in Victoria Island, Lagos, with the theme “Awake,” said the history of Nigeria would not be complete without the role of women who had contributed to the progress of the country.
“The history of Nigeria is replete with heroic deeds of women. We have had women who had contributed to the progress of this country. We must continue to appreciate them. There is no reasonable society that can push women to the back seat and expect to make progress. If the country must move forward, women must lead us to progress,” he said.
Declaring support for women leadership, he said, “I am ready to follow women, we must be ready. Women are good leaders. There is need for women who are politically conscious not to leave politics for men alone; they have never led this country properly. You must embrace politics. You must go beyond jamboree of being best political singers at rallies. You can’t be singing at political rallies, you must do something else.”
Akeredolu who called on men to work with women politically, however urged wives of political office holders to avoid using their conducts to tarnish the integrity of their husbands, adding they should influence their husbands positively on government policies.
“Don’t limit freedom of women. Being wives of political office holders is just not enough. It’s statutory to have spouses who are supportive of their husbands. It’s important these rare privileges you have are used to influence government policies. Influence your husbands for the change and benefit of the Country. With insecurity at zero level, we need to look at specific ways women can intervene to change the narratives,” he said.
Lamenting that women “are enemies of themselves” he called on First Ladies across the Country to be “light to other women.
“Wives of political office holders must be pillars of support. You must shun counsel of the wicked that could divide the country. You must not compromise the integrity of your husbands through your conducts,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s First Lady, Aishat Buhari represented by the Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Women Affairs to the President, Dr. Rukayyat Gurin, in her remarks, urged women to use their roles for the greater benefits of the society, while calling on men to support their wives.
Commending the 21st edition of the conference, she said by conveying the yearly convergence, “Lagos has set the pace for women in the Country.”
“This conference demonstrates how powerful Lagos women have been in supporting their husbands. This conference would positively impart women in Lagos and Nigeria in general. I would encourage our husbands to support their wives and collectively achieve greater heights. It’s important not to forget our past. I strongly believe we have our husbands’ support. We need more assistance to move together positively,” she said.
Speaking, Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who emphasised the importance of women in the society especially in the home, urged them to be alert to their responsibilities, against allowing themselves to be pushed to the background.
Speaking on the theme of the Conference “Awake,” he described same “as is a clarion call to the 21st century women to become fully alert to her responsibilities as a pillar, enabler, and catalyst within the family, in the workplace, the Civic space, and the larger society.
“It is a rallying cry to women, young and old, to be bold, assertive and fearless in the quest for a truly just, equitable and inclusive society,” he said.
According to him, “In a world where the needs and perspectives of women are often pushed to the backburner, and where violence of all kinds, physical, sexual, mental and psychological, are routinely deployed against them, the need for such a forceful wake-up call can never be over-emphasised.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu urged men to be mindful of the manner they treat women, warning their words and actions might unconsciously hold women back “or make their journeys through life more difficult than it should be.”