A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the League of Women Voters of Nigeria, Niger State Chapter, has commended Gov. Umar Mohammed Bago for including women in his administration.
The state chairperson of the organisation, Dr. Aisha Saliu Lemu, made the commendation during an interactive session between the leadership of the organisation and members of the media on the activities of the NGO in Minna on Wednesday.
She disclosed that appointing about six women into his cabinet and another set of over 130 as senior special advisers, special advisers, and coordinators was a commendable gesture by the governor, which, according to her, will encourage women's participation in politics and governance.
Dr. Aisha Saliu Lemu also observed that women form a larger share of Nigerian voters but are relegated to the background when it comes to engagement in governance and other critical matters of nation-building.
She explained that the League of Women Voters seeks to educate and mobilise women to enable them to play an effective and efficient role in governance and public matters, as well as defend and perfect Nigeria's democracy.
Dr. Aisha Lemu, who was supported during the briefing by the state secretary of the NGO, Barr. Maryam Kolo, and other members of the league in the state, disclosed that the organisation is a non-partisan move to educate and mobilise women to participate actively in governance and national development.
She added that the organisation also fights for the rights of women, especially violence against women, be it domestic, sexual harassment, or political violence against women, hence the rationale behind their collaboration with the Ministries of Women Affairs, Justice, the Child Rights Agency, and other relevant organisations in the state.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the organisation, Barr. Maryam Kolo, said the relationship between the League of Women Voters and ministries of women affairs, justice, and the Child's Rights Agency was cordial, as they were complementing the efforts of the ministries and the agency in terms of the fight against violence against women.
She observed that a lot of victims of gender violence die in silence because they cannot open up for fear of stigmatisation, urging victims of any form of violence against women, be it domestic, sexual harassment, or political violence, to feel free to contact the organisation if they cannot reach out to the ministry of women affairs, justice, and child's rights agency officials.
Barr. Maryam Kolo also disclosed that they were looking forward to working closely with the First Lady of the State and chairperson of the state committee on violence against persons, Hajiya Fatima Umar Bago, whom she said had been doing her best in terms of women's advancement in the state.
The Niger State Government continued with the distribution of special palliatives to physically challenged persons in Minna, the state capital, yesterday.
The Commissioner, Niger State Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Alhaji Ahmed Baba Sulaiman, speaking at the occasion, said the special distribution was aimed at cushioning the effect of the present economic hardship being experienced in the country.
He said the state government, under the leadership of Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago, has promised to ensure that the palliatives reach every person, regardless of their status, religion, tribe, or political affiliation.
Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed urged Fulanis, who were among those that received the palliatives in the Gurara area of the state capital, to live in peace and harmony with other people.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Bar Mairo Mohammed Mann, explained that the people living with disabilities were special people, and they should be treated differently because of the condition in which they found themselves, and their rights should therefore not be taken away as citizens. She therefore hoped that the palliative given by the state government will be judiciously used.
The distribution of special palliatives embarked upon by the ministry was also at the Leprosy Mission Chanchaga, Old People's Home, and Social Rehabilitation Centre, among others.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, a senior staff member at the social rehabilitation centre, Fatima Damidami, applauded the Niger State Government for the good work and promised to make judicious use of the items provided.