ABUJA — President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha Buhari, has urged political parties to always consider women as running mates to candidates contesting elections for various positions across the country.
Mrs. Buhari was speaking on Saturday night when she hosted 2023 presidential aspirants from various political parties to a Ramadan (Iftar) dinner at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
The First Lady had invited the presidential hopefuls across political parties to the dinner on Thursday, April 21.
The meeting, which had both presidential aspirants and elected party officials in attendance, began a few minutes past 7pm, though it was earlier scheduled for 6:30pm, with dignitaries already arriving at 6:20pm.
It was gathered that the Iftar was organised by the First Lady to provide opportunity for the aspirants to share love and happiness with one another in the spirit of Ramadan and in a quest for nation-building.
Addressing the presidential aspirants on the need to consider women as running mates, Mrs. Buhari said fair play for women in politics was to ensure their greater participation in elective positions.
“In fact, it is high time women are adopted as running mates at all levels considering their voting strength and active involvement in political processes,” she urged.
“As we approach the 2023 election with greater hope, I am confident that Nigeria will continue to grow from strength to strength on the pedestal of our democratic tenets.”
She reminded her guests that the 2015 general elections were a watershed in the history of Nigeria.
“It was neither contested in the court of law, nor in the court of public opinion.
“Therefore, the greatest end-of-tenure gift that fellow Nigerians can give to the first family is another free and globally-acknowledged fair election come 2023,” she appealed.
She further enjoined the aspirants to remain focused on issues that strengthened the nation`s unity, brotherhood, and national cohesion.
She also urged them to ensure tolerance and fair play and avoid violent tendencies by building bridges where necessary, especially during electioneering campaigns.
Among those who graced the dinner include Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC; Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.
Also in attendance was Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna; a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barnabas Gemade; recently sacked lawmaker and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, and Godswill Akpabio.
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