The All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, today took part in an event tagged “Interactive Session with the 2015 Lagos State Gubernatorial Candidates”, where he restated his resolve to keep working with the esteemed women folk to achieve a greater Lagos. The event was held at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
The interactive session was themed “What About The Women….?”, and was organized by the Cosmopolitan Women’s Club, a non-governmental organization comprising of successful professional women whose primary objective is to cater for women, the youth and the less privileged in the society.
Mr. Ambode received a very warm reception as he started his speech with the famous “Iyaniwura” folk song with the all women singing along with him. He said he came to share his ideas and aspirations which he hopes the women pursue together with him. He added that he came to also learn from the women whom he described as his mothers, wives and sisters.
“I am here to share my ideas and aspirations as well as learn from you the additional things we can do to ensure equity, fairness, justice, a clean and secure environment, especially for our children”, Ambode said.
He added that the role of women in the society is second to none, promising to pursue programmes and policies that recognize their important role.
“I recognize you our women as a pivotal force for progress and valuable instruments of change in any society poised for success. Our government shall treasure your role in the society we look to build”.
The women asked him why he thinks he could be counted upon to lead the state. Mr. Ambode answered by assuring that, a combination of his experience, competence, antecedents, character and capabilities, together with his selfless desire to serve, makes him worthy to be counted upon to champion the cause of leading Lagos to greater heights.
He stressed this by adding that, “For me to have led a meritorious and productive civil service career, becoming a Permanent Secretary at the age of 37, and then the Chief Responsibility Officer of the finances of this great state for 6 years without any blemish, it makes me strongly believe that you can count on me to serve this state further and take us all to another level”.
Ambode stated that he doesn’t subscribe to the notion of assigning a particular percentage to the participation of women either in governance or in politics.
“I believe that there are women who are as qualified as men, so, I am committed to giving equal opportunity to all, the focus of our government will be the achievement of a Lagos that works for all”, he stated
He added by saying that, “I am known for my respect for women rights, merit-based decisions, and equality as I had more female Directors that worked with me as Accountant-General in the state”, Ambode said.
He therefore promised to pursue policies that ensure that all Lagosians, most especially the women, are entitled to equal treatment and opportunities. He also promised abolition of child abuse, domestic violence and similar woes that majorly affect women.
More importantly, Ambode promised to tackle poverty that also seems to mostly affect women, by generating easily accessible avenues for wealth creation.
“Our government will promote programmes that will destroy this infamous nexus that seems to exist between women and poverty”, he pledged.
As regards the forthcoming elections, he identified the women as major influencers and urged them to vote for the APC.
“I want you to influence Nigeria in the next 3 weeks in a positive way. Good governance is the right of every Nigerian, and judging by the way the APC has excelled in this matter, I urge you to vote for me and the APC in the forthcoming general elections and ensure greatness of this country.”
Earlier in her welcome speech, the President of the club, Mrs. Bintu Fatima Tinubu, described the interactive session as a timely one, as it presented an opportunity to the candidates to enlighten a cross section of women who have critical roles to play in Nation building.
The Chairperson of the day, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN) also described the session as a special one because it involves engaging women who are sure influencers of the prospects of the gubernatorial candidates.