The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State acknowledged the approval of an intervention empowerment fund for women in the state by President Muhammadu Buhari. The APC, however, said the Federal Government’s two thousand women empowerment program currently going on in the three senatorial districts of Edo State was initiated because of the dysfunctional government of incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The APC stated that the program should not be misunderstood for politics or the governorship election in the state.
Chairman of APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, in an appreciation message to President Buhari, stated: “we appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for this effort. We thank the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barrister Festus Keyamo (SAN) for the timely intervention and for recognising the women of Edo State through this empowerment program.”
Mayaki declared: “We, in fact, thank all the other relevant people who have been able to raise our women’s voices till it got to the presidency. Our women suffered so much and were in need of your help in the media. It took NGOs constantly appealing to both the federal and state government. When they got wind that the federal government would help, they quickly did their own shoddy palliative.
“We believe that if we can all join hands together; we can silence the voice of oppression and cripple the hands that have pushed our sons to violence. We must begin to speak up.
“If we had a functional state government, would this be necessary? Everything we said we will do is already in the Simple Agenda. Please try to tell the public that what the federal government did was for the benefit of the women without any political coloration.
“Are you saying because of the election, our people should continue to suffer? If the Federal Government budgets for her people they should not be denied such privileges because of election and so, let’s not read political meanings to this gesture. Or else, one would be tempted to ask the same question about Governor Obaseki, who promised Ekiosa market women N100 million about a year ago, after fire razed their wares, last week announced N10k each for the victims?
“Do you know the government asked the market women to pay N500.00 to obtain forms and as we speak, none of them got money? Do you know that this facility has always been there, but Obaseki’s Government would rather access it and share the same with their cronies? Do you know that these women came out two weeks ago and protested and blocked everywhere and some people took the issue up and they got help? Let us try to avoid calling FG schemes politics.
“When we get to power, we have promised to promote gender equality and women’s rights by engendering Sustainable Development Goals agenda that is capable of eradicating gender-based violence, promote the participation and leadership of women in all aspects of decision-making and advancing their economic justice, and create cooperatives across the state, which will give loans to market women and farmers so as to increase productivity.
“If we had a functional state government, would this be necessary? Everything we said we will do is already in the simple agenda. Please try to tell the public that what the federal government did was for the benefit of the women. Edo people’s votes have not been bought by that scheme. It’s the SIMPLE agenda that buys votes; tyranny, oppression and jailing market women push votes away. Ask Obaseki if you don’t believe.”