Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has outlined his agenda for women in the country if elected as the next President of Nigeria.
Ahead of the general elections, the governor officially declared to join the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari after the polls next year on Wednesday at an event in Abuja.
He will be contesting for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside some bigwigs within the ruling party who are also eyeing the highest office of the land.
Governor Fayemi outlined some of the efforts of his administration to improve the lives of women and girls and to promote female participation in Ekiti State, saying he would replicate same and even more should he win his presidential bid.
“What will be my agenda for women? I think the best way to judge my agenda for women is to look at what I have done in my almost eight years as governor, and in my capacity as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), coordinating the activities of my brother governors in the 36 states,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the event.
“Well, in Ekiti State, women have attained the pride of place, and we have done that through a range of measures – law, policies, and programmes. In my first term, we had a law in place to address a matter that was really very fundamental to all of us, but particularly to women; sexual and gender-based violence in our society and we were the first state to have a register of convicts on gender-based violence.”
According to the governor, Ekiti went a step further when he returned for his second term in office by starting a ‘name and shame policy’ for those involved in sexual and gender-based violence.
“It is not enough for you to be convicted by a law court for gender-based violence; because our people are more concerned about the shame done to them within their communities than simple conviction in a law court, we name and shame those who have been convicted and put this information right around their communities.
“And when you know the way a typical Ekiti community is and the pride with which we exude, character and integrity, that is something that has activated moral suasion, not just legal punishment,” he said.
Beyond that, Governor Fayemi explained that his administration took further steps against female genital mutilation, including the signed of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
He revealed that the NGF declared an emergency against sexual and gender-based violence in all the 36 states of the country on June 20, 2020.
At the time, the governor said only 14 states had signed up to the VAPP Act while the number has increased to 30 as of May 2022.
“In Ekiti State, the parliamentary worked with us and passed the law granting 35 per cent positions – both appointment and elective; that’s a tough call in politics,” he said of women’s participation in governance.
“It’s still not where we want to be, but it is a significant step if you consider the difficulty our national parliament has had in putting the same law in place. My successor in office, by God’s grace, is going to have a female deputy governor. So, we are on our way to having the first governor in Nigeria who is female in Ekiti State.”