Women in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Monday, staged a protest against hunger, hardship and insecurity in the country to mark on this year’s International Women’s Day.
They also called for the immediate resignation of the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for incompetence.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the women, Mrs Stell Ajadi, lamented the lack of basic amenities in their community.
Ajadi rebuked the President for his silence over persistent attacks by bandits and herdsmen across the country.
She said, “We need empowerment, no money to do business. We don’t have potable water. We are wives and mothers and we are suffering. The insecurity and economic situation which led to general increase of prices of goods is worrisome and uncalled for. The President should resign if he cannot protect the people.”
However, far away in the Aso Villa, Buhari (retd.), on Monday felicitated with Nigerian women on International Women’s Day, describing them as the bedrock of society.
With females forming about half of the country’s population, the President said any “government which neglects such a crucial component of its demographic asset stands the risk of stunted growth and likely failure.”
Buhari’s message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, “2021 International Women’s Day: President Buhari salutes Nigerian women, calls them bedrock of society.”
Noting that the theme of the 2021 celebration, “Choose to challenge,” is apt, the statement said Buhari rejoiced with the womenfolk and restated his administration’s commitment to addressing the challenges confronting them.
“I am proud of our women who have shown by dint of hard work and capacity that they can perform creditably if given the opportunity at home and on the global stage,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration plans to launch N1bn fund for widows, whose livelihoods were adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
He disclosed this while addressing a cross-section of women at an event in Government House, Benin, to mark theInternational Women’s Day.
Obaseki said: “As a response and gift to women, Edo State Government will be launching a N1bn fund for widows whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
“The state will give a seed capital of N250m. We will work with financial partners to raise the balance as the fund will be managed professionally, not politically, mostly by women, to address vulnerable women in the state.”
Also, in Kwara State, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said that his administration would continue to give voice to women because doing so was key to achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Abdulrazaq in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye on Monday to mark the International Women Day, said, “Our agenda to empower Kwara women aligns with the theme of this year’s celebration which is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World’. The administration is committed to socioeconomic and political empowerment/inclusion of women because of their critical roles in building a stronger and healthier world where both genders work in harmony for the larger good of our communities. This commitment is glaring in our appointments, programmes, and policies just under the last two years.”
Similarly, the Ondo State Government has called on the women in various leadership positions to continue contributing to the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic .The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Women Affairs, Mrs Kehinde Adeniran, stated this while speaking at a programme in Akure to mark the 2021 Women’s Day celebration.
She said, “The theme is a wakeup call for women, particularly those in position of leadership to reposition themselves in their resolve to combat COVID-19 which is presently ravaging the whole world.”
An estimated 18 million female students, including university undergraduates were affected by the closure of schools due to COVID – 19 pandemic, the United Nations women said on Monday.
The Country Representative of UN women in Nigeria, Comfort Lamptey, stated this during a national policy dialogue in commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
She said, “As estimated, the 18 million female learners across primary, secondary and tertiary education have been affected by the school closure. This is deeply concerning for the future of girls education in communities where their enrolment was already low.
“The COVID – 19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on the lives of women and girls. Without a doubt, this pandemic in the words of the UN Secretary-General, has a woman’s face.”
While explaining the various struggles of Nigerian women through the years, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said the IWD presents a unique opportunity for women to take stock of their demands for equality, development and peace.