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Kwara Women for Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, on Wednesday, declared their unflinching support for Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to run for second term in office.

The group noted that its decision was borne out of a deliberate effort of Abdulrazaq administration to mainstream gender inclusion in governance in the last two years.

Briefing journalists ahead of mega rally and stakeholders meeting, tagged ‘Kwara Women Unite For AA Second Term Victory,’ Funmilayo Adefila, CEO, Bundisch Care Support Initiative (BCSI), explained that members of the group were drawn from different backgrounds.

“Many of us here are not card-carrying members of any political party; we make no pretense about our strong interest in governance and all issues that may affect (us as) women and our children. For this reason, we are interested in the policy choice of any government, national or local.

“Over the last two years in Kwara State, we have seen a deliberate effort by the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to mainstream gender inclusion in governance.

“It is on record that no administration in modern history of Nigeria has done so well to bring women to the decision making table. We saw this in cabinet composition where he gave 56.25percent cabinet positions to women as well as in headship of government agencies and parastatals.

“This is a fact that has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. A few weeks ago, the United Nations Development Agency nominated the Governor for an award to recognise his bold steps in gender inclusion.

“This has far-reaching consequences on public policies and programmes. For instance, anti-family or anti-women policies can only get government support in Kwara of today if women become complicit in such.

“This is because we are adequately represented in virtually all areas involved in policy designs, we have seen serious attention being paid to child development and government services that especially benefit women and children.

“The huge investments of the Abdulrazaq administration in basic education, sanitation, water, safety net programmes, and child and maternal health testify to his love for the welfare of the disadvantaged groups in the society.

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“He topped these with the introduction of a law that commits Kwara to gender inclusion through the Gender Composition Law 2021 and fair treatment of women through the recent domestication of the Violence Against Person Law.

“The administration has also recently committed to the 2nd National Action Plan which seeks to involve women in conflict resolution frameworks and protect them from all kinds of discrimination.

“These pro-women achievements are monumental and should never go unrewarded by women of this state, wherever we may be and whatever ideology we espouse.

“We therefore, have a historic duty to speak up for the Governor and his administration. We recall that the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen had recently charged the women of Kwara State not to let the Governor down. Against that background, we the women of Kwara State stand ready to declare our unflinching support for Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.”

The group, however, declared that “if he declares a bid to run again, we have a burden of history to rally round him, this is beyond partisan sentiments. It is about telling the whole world that Kwara women do not take the support of the Governor for granted.

“We owe this duty to ourselves and to our girl child who has had a dignifying space created for her in the room where her destiny and that of her family are being determined. This is the new reality in Kwara of which many states are now jealous.

“We openly declare a mass movement in support of a leader who, against all odds, has challenged the default man syndrome in our public life. In Kwara today, you can no longer assume – in line with the default man mentality- that a certain office is held by a man or woman.

“Kwara is a balanced society where both men and women are competitively contributing their quotas to the development of the society. The positive effects of such a fair society and gender balanced environment will resonate far into the future.”

Also speaking, the group coordinator and programme’s convener, Kuburat Abdullahi, appreciated the Governor for supporting women in the state, calling on the people, captains of industry and others to re-elect Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

In her submission, Adeniran Suliat, a student who commended the Governor for his commitment towards uplifting the standard of education in the state, charged women to break the bias and support the Governor.

Fielding questions from journalists at the Government House Ilorin, Jemilat Bio Ibrahim, Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDHs), posited that Kwara women are coming together to show their unwavering support for the governor.

“We are here to let the world know that one good term deserves another. We thank our Governor for his encouragement and support for women in his administration.

“We want a stable system that will continue to implement the law on 35percent affirmative act for women for women in governance. A political instability can affect that law.”