The Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja has promised a better deal for women and youths in the next administration of Governor Yahaya Bello.
Onoja who is also the chief of staff to Governor Bello acknowledged that youths and women play significant roles in the current government and said that he believes giving more of them the opportunity to serve would translate into more gains for the state.
He gave this assurance on Wednesday in Lokoja during a penel session in a town hall meeting organized by Challanged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), implementers of the Stop Violence Against Women in Politics campaign; and Participation Initiative For Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), The Vote Not Fight partners in Kogi State.
The APC deputy governorship candidate said his party already has a clear cut manifesto which is being implemented in sync with the New Direction blueprint of the Yahaya Bello government.
He said Kogi State is reputed for having the largest number of young people in government, which is an attestation to Governor Bello’s resolve to breaking the age long myth that youths are the leaders of tomorrow.
“In Kogi, youths are the leaders of today”. He said.
He said government is implementing several policies which has direct and positive impact on the lives of the youths, saying that the recent signing into law of the Kogi State Youth Development Commission bill by Governor Bello is a one-stop-shop for addressing the various youth development challenges in the state.
“Also, women currently occupy exalted positions in this administration. A woman is currently the Secretary to the State Government, which is the engine room of government, another woman is the head of service, the engine room of civil service.
“we also produced a female minister in the federal cabinet. Not to mention the numerous Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants at both state and local government levels. This is because we believe that women can add value”. He said.
Onoja also hinted that the governor, as the Leader of APC in Kogi State has recommended that the party field women for the local government election that is to come up. Saying that in places where the state has male chairman, a woman should be the Deputy, and where a woman is the chairman, a man should deputize. This his said would give more room for inclusion and bridge the gap that currently exist as regards the number of elected women in government.
He also assured of the government’s commitment to peaceful conduct of the forthcoming election, saying that this administration has invested so much on security and will not use its hands to scuttle it, neither will it tolerate any breach by anyone no matter how highly placed.
He called on women and youths who formed the greater voter population to come out in their numbers to vote Governor Bello in the November poll because he has succeeded in bringing down the barriers of ethnicity, religion and class, and have set Kogi State on the pedestal for greatness. “Give us another term to consolidate and just like this first tenure, you will not be disappointed”. He concluded.
The meeting was attended by Kogi State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, representatives of the police, NSCDC, candidates of ANRP, Zenith labor party, and the PPP. Other parties sent a representative, including the PDP.