Wife of presidential frontrunner and candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Margaret Peter Obi, has said that Nigerian women must reject past governments which refused to give the women opportunity in their administration.
Mrs Obi also assured Nigerians of holistic health insurance cover for the poorest in the country if her husband emerges President in the upcoming poll.
She disclosed that the Labour Party flag bearer, Peter Obi plans to widen the National Health Insurance (NHI) net to cover other 133 million persons including pregnant women and people living with disabilities.
At a Town Hall Meeting in Abuja with the Theme, Women for a new Nigeria, the former Anambra State First Lady called on women to take active part in the election, as she noted that “a New Nigeria is possible, and with your participation, a New Nigeria will be born at the election polls on the 25th of February this year. Here is how we will do it.”
She stressed that the time for complaining was over as God has presented Nigerians with a unique opportunity and “we must do our part as women, mothers of the nation, to truly birth the Nigeria we want to see. Do not despair.”
“With the Nigerian population made up of over 49% women, women have a higher literacy rate, with between 60% – 70% literacy rate among females, yet it is so disheartening to see that only 6% of the legislature is female. What happens when more than half of the Population are not in the halls where decisions that affect their lives are made.
“The ObiDatti government is committed to ensuring that women and youth will be represented in government by law. Not a token sprinkling of women,” she assured.
According to her, “Women make up 49% of the Nigerian population, and by June this year women and youth already made up over 75% of the registered voters in Nigeria. Why then should we suffer in silence?
“This is why we are making this call to women, you can and must empower the nation to birth a new Nigeria. When things go bad, women are the ones that suffer the most. I therefore encourage you to look at what the candidates have to offer you as women.
“Look at their track record and then vote accordingly. From access to finance, to healthcare, and also economic empowerment and inclusive government. The ObiDatti policies show women that a new Nigeria where women take their rightful place is possible.
“In finance, even though it is women that are the primary caregivers in Nigeria, many women from petty trading, to farming to small businesses to increasingly aspiring to bigger corporations, hustle to ensure their families are well catered for, it is no secret that women suffer disproportionately from lack of access to finance.
“There is a lack of access to credit in the formal sector to 98% of women, yet when you compare those that borrow money with their male counterparts, they perform better, Men have a higher default rate.
“The Obi-Datti pact with women is that they will ensure increased access to finance for women. We know that more money in the hands of women, equates to a better life for our children.
“We are the ones that are raising the leaders of tomorrow. This is why we must step out and vote for ObiDatti ticket and vote for the labour party.
“In human capital development, many women have been rendered as economic consumers, because none has invested in developing their skills to enable them to be economically productive.
“The ObiDatti government has promised to invest in skills training in various fields to ensure that women have the opportunity to participate as active members of the labour workforce.
These skills will increase the earning potential of women, especially those in the rural areas, and afford them the dignity to make money for themselves, thus reducing the chances of those women being helpless victims in abusive relationships.”
Obi’s wife asked women to enlist five of their friends, relatives and coworkers, telling “them what you know. Show them that a new Nigeria is possible and get a commitment from them to come out to vote for ObiDatti and the Labour party. Make sure they come out on election day. Stay until the votes are counted. Report any issues. Women, we have the numbers, we have the power to birth a new Nigeria. The time is now.”
While lamenting that the country was speeding downhill in the wrong direction, and approaching a cliff into a deep dark abyss, the Akwa Ibom born philanthropist however urged support for her husband and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed “to turn the nation around and head it in the right direction.”
Earlier, the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi charged the women to refuse the toga that they are only good in the ‘other room’, and ensure that their population is a determinant factor in the presidential election in February.