…promises to give women 80% appointive positions

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The Abuja Municipal Area Council candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Eric Ibe, has promised to take commercial sex workers off the streets of the nation’s capital if elected as chairman.

He lamented that 1,285 women and girls in the FCT were allowed to “disgracefully sell their bodies every night” to afford food and other basic necessities for their families.

Ibe stated this during the FCT Council Chairmanship Debate held by The Pink Vote Movement and aired on Wazobia FM, yesterday in Abuja

The SDP candidate said: “We conduct research and discovered that about 1,285 women and girls prostitute on the streets of Abuja every night. This figure is very alarming and disturbing.

“We must see what we can do to put a stop to all of this. The people we are talking about are our wives, sisters and daughters. So, we have to do what must be done to get them off the streets.

“Against this background, we have identified some civil society organizations that are ready to collaborate with the government to ensure that we give these women and girls a better life.”

He also promised to run an administration that will be ‘big’ on the open-door policy as well as women empowerment, saying “We will also ensure that 80% of all appointive positions are occupied by women because they are good managers.”

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In the same vein, the candidate of the National Rescue Movement, Ms Minabo Horsfall, said she will focus on helping the people, especially women, to achieve success in material and financial terms, if elected.

According to her, “My biggest plan for the women is collective prosperity for them through empowerment and education. I will put a scholarship structure in place for bright and exceptional students from indigent backgrounds.”

On the issue of making public the internally generated revenue of the Abuja municipal area council on a quarterly basis, Ms Horsfall simply said: “I will be as transparent as possible, but I am not going to make promises I can’t keep.”

Speaking also, the Africa Democratic Congress flag-bearer, Mr David Zamani, promised to ensure strict enforcement of laws against gender-based violence, if elected.

“My basic agenda for women is to present them with basic and social amenities. We’ll also provide them with relevant skills for empowerment as well as protect them through the strict enforcement of the laws against gender-based violence.”

Earlier, the Executive Director of Engage, Empower, Educate Initiative, Belema Meshack-Hart, explained that the ‘Pink Debate’ was organized to mainstream gender-based issues in Nigeria’s electoral system.

He noted that women’s concerns were typically regarded as non-consequential to party and electoral politics. Hence, the need for a public discourse where those seeking elections to political offices will focus solely on issues around the African woman and the girl child with a view to achieving a system where gender-based issues take centre stage.

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