A Statement by the APGA Gubernatorial Candidate, Frank Nweke Jr on International Women’s Day, 2023
Happy International Women’s Day to every woman in Enugu State.
On this special occasion, I want to honour and appreciate the gifts that you are to our society and the world at large.
The theme for this year is apt and captures my thoughts on how to approach issues of women empowerment in Enugu State. We must meet everyone at their level and provide the specific opportunities and requirements they need for success.
Hence, our administration’s commitment to affirmative actions that improve the participation of women in government and civil service, as well as provide the necessary training and support to improve entrepreneurial ventures and businesses.
We have already begun this by the choice of Dr. Mrs Edith Ugwuanyi as my Deputy Governorship Candidate. More than an act of representation, her education, tremendous exposure, her work and record of service reflects brilliance, professionalism, and a deep interest in grassroot and people development.
She is a health practitioner, a successful entrepreneur and public servant.
With our combined experience and efforts, we are determined to deploy policies that serve the interest of our women across family life, educational aspirations, technology literacy, business, politics and generally, as agents of societal change.
In my tours across the state, I have found the women to be the most vulnerable to the dangers of poverty and economic regression.
Young girls and women are exposed to abuse and vices beyond their control, and our mothers work under the most unfavourable conditions in the corporate world, in the markets and farms.
We will work with all key stakeholders to ensure that our women are protected in every respect.
I am particularly interested in the welfare, well-being, and empowerment of mothers in Enugu. I believe that they hold the key to the renewal of society, to a moral and ethical renaissance, and to improved economic growth and sustainability in our country.
I recently recalled the story of a mother I met on a market tour who had her two-week old baby with her. The only reason she could have made that decision was because, without her small business, there would be no way to feed. I have also met several mothers nursing sick children while exposed to the hot sun, the rains and dust.
My administration is therefore committed to immediately improving the lives of our mothers, first by addressing basic infrastructure needs at the local level. Water, healthcare services, schools and sanitation will receive critical attention.
We will also channel resources for extension services to the farmers, provide succour through a family support program and our Strategic Food Reserve initiative.
Hence, my commitment to ensuring the autonomy and accountability of Local Governments remain sacrosanct as they will be the direct agents of implementing these services.
Mothers are the custodians of our future as they mostly determine how the lives of children will go. They are the primary determinants of their state of health, education, values, and beliefs. They, therefore, require the right training, education and empowerment to effectively shape society and the future in very profound and fundamental ways.
While I was the Minister for Information and National Orientation, I initiated a project called Mothers United and Mobilised where we addressed issues of values, ethical and moral reorientation.
My administration will reintroduce this initiative as a channel for education, empowerment and equipping our mothers for action. This will form a critical aspect of our human development plans for education, healthcare, and overall social equity.
I want to assure our women that Enugu will be referenced for the protection of women’s rights, empowerment for economic advancement and political participation. The number of women who will become Local Government chairpersons and commissioners, will be unprecedented because we will intentionally create policies that make this possible.
We need every hand on deck in our quest to reignite the coal city and restore Enugu as the capital of the Eastern Region. Our women will be active participants.