By FATIMA MOHAMMED-LAWAL
ILORIN- The Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) on Tuesday in Ilorin mobilised and sensitised women and other stakeholders on the 2023 general election.
Hajia Rafiah Sanni, the National Amirah of FOMWAN, said at opening of the event that the association was determined to sensitise women and other stakeholders on the upcoming general elections.
She explained that Kwara was one of the three states earmarked for implementation of the programme, adding that FOMWAN in conjunction with United Nations (UN) Women and Canada facilitated the programme.
According to her, the programme is a high level advocacy forum with experts and different stakeholders expected to help foster good governance, gender and human rights in the country.
She spoke on the theme: “Consequences of Gender-Based Violence and the Significance of Electing Credible Leaders”.
Sanni, who was represented by Hajia Jemina Ariori, the Kwara Coordinator on the Mobilisation and Sensitisation of Women for the 2023 General Elections, noted that the overall goals of the project was to contribute to effective rural women’s participation in free, fair and violence free 2023 elections through interfaith actions.
She underscored the need to counter gender based violence during all elections, especially by grassroots women and girls, during and after elections.
The FOMWAN president reiterated the importance of electing credible leaders by participating in the 2023 election process so as to increase capacity of the community leaders and faith based women on curbing gender based violence.
On her part, Hajia Ni’mat Labaika, the Kwara Amirah of FOMWAN, pointed out that the organisation is an umbrella of all Muslim women associations in Nigeria.
She explained that the faith based organisation has secured support from UN Women to implement a project on mobilisation, sensitisation and countering gender based violence before, during and after 2023 general elections.
“FOMWAN in the past decades has been actively involved in civic education and election observation across all the 36 states of the federation including FCT.
“Our ability to mobilise our members in the rural communities to actively participate in the electioneering process cannot be overemphasised,” she said.
Also speaking, Hajia Bilqees Oladimeji, Deputy President of FOMWAN, Kwara branch, called for effective advocacy and identifying stakeholders that are ready to bring about change.
“The rights of women must not be tampered with. Women participation in politics is very fundamental,” she said.
Mrs Oluremi Chiroma, representative of INEC in Kwara, who commended FOMWAN for the programme, added that women voice must be heard and should be allowed active participation in Nigerian politics.
Chiroma submitted that women don’t want to be in competition with their male counterparts but partners in the development of the country.
Oba Abdulrazak Iyiolaseni III, the Olojoku of Ojoku land, said women must be empowered to also partake in politics, adding that majority of women are instruments to electing men in power.
He condemned politicians who use youths to cause mayhem by giving them access to drugs and tools of destruction.
The community leader opined that politics is a very simple game and should not be a do or die affair. (NAN)