By Josephine Agbonkhese
LOKOJA — THE flag-bearer of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kogi State governorship election scheduled for November 21, Prince Abubakar Audu, and his running mate, Mr. James Faleke, have signed a social contract with women in the state, vowing to ensure their growth and development, if elected.
Audu signed the 12-point gender pact at the first-ever Kogi Gender Dialogue organized by Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, and other civil society organizations, with support from the United Nations Development Programme Democratic Governance for Development Project, yesterday, in Lokoja.
At the ceremony, Audu said: “During my previous tenures, I appointed the first female Secretary to the State Government, SSG, in the state and also had women in other key positions. I will do more for women.
“Your objectives are related to our programmes. I, therefore, endorse the gender pact as a true social contract between me and women in the state.”
Meanwhile, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, incumbent Governor Idris Wada, promised to sign the pact at a later date before the election.
According to the Convener of the National Gender Dialogue, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the essence of the gender dialogue was to ensure enhanced accountability in governance by promoting issue-based campaign that would support gender equality, pro-poor and accountable governance, social justice and development in the Nigerian political landscape.
The dialogue has held successfully since 2007 in Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos (in collaboration with Vanguard newspapers), among other states.
The 12-point gender pact covers primary health care, education, economic and poverty alleviation, decision-making, vulnerable groups, environment, agriculture, road network, water supply, child abuse, violence against women and security.
Other contestants in the race, after signing the pact, swore to aggressively ensure better representation and living conditions for women and youths in the state as entailed in the pact.
They include Mr. Emmanuel Ozigi, flag-bearer for Progressives Peoples Alliance, PPA; Mr. Ezekiel Philips Koleola of the Democratic Peoples Congress, DPC; and Democratic Peoples Party candidate, DPP’s Abubakar Ibrahim, who promised a 45 percent representation for women in his cabinet.