Tinubu: We Must Harness Our Demography, Numerical Value to Make Progress, Women’s Role Invaluable

•Hails Masha’s appointment as G-24 director 

•Buhari urges Nigerians in diaspora to support president-elect

•Extend hands of fellowship to other candidates for national unity, APC chieftain tells former Lagos governor

Deji Elumoye, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has stressed the need to harness the country’s demography and numerical value for national progress. Tinubu said this yesterday, in a message to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD).

The president-elect saluted Nigerian women for their courage, strength, and contribution to national development.

That was as President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, called on Nigerians in the diaspora to support Tinubu as he takes over the reins of government on May 29.  Buhari spoke in Doha, at a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the State of Qatar.

In a similar vein, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bamidele Faparusi, yesterday, urged Tinubu to extend the hand of fellowship to other candidates, who contested with him in the presidential election.

In the message to commemorate the IWD, Tinubu said the theme for this year’s celebration, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” was not only about how the country must mainstream women into the digital economy, but more importantly about catering for the broader issues of gender equity, equality, and health development needs of women and girls through specific policies and practices.

Tinubu stressed that in Nigeria, women had always played an important role in social, political and economic evolution. He said the story of many of the country’s heroines, like Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, Hajia Gambo Sawaba, and hundreds of Aba Women, who fought for economic rights of women and contributed to the liberation struggle against colonialism, would continue to inspire generations to come.

Tinubu stated, “Embracing gender equity for us in Nigeria has progressed beyond technology adoption and participation in innovation; to a more deeper engagement about how we treat issues of economic justice, social mobility, and equitable (especially political) representation of women.

“Our population demography and development indices indicate that we can only progress if we harness the numerical value of the human resources the nation is blessed with.”

The president-elect noted that Nigerian women play a very important role in national life from the family units, where they nurture the children who would be the next generation of leaders, to the farmlands, markets and boardrooms, where they play the role of major economic actors.

He stated, “As we celebrate our women today, I hold sacred my promise to provide the enabling environment for these goals to become manifest and usher another dimension to the strength of Nigeria – our women.

“Doing this will renew hope in Project Nigeria and energise the much needed citizen engagement agenda of our administration.”

Meanwhile, Tinubu congratulated renowned economist and member of the federal government’s Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Iyabo Masha, on her appointment as Director of G-24 Secretariat.

The Intergovernmental Group of 24 on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G24) recently announced the appointment of Masha as Director of the G-24 following an extensive recruitment process. She would succeed Ms. Marilou Uy.

Tinubu noted Masha’s excellent knowledge of the economy, both nationally and internationally, as well as her rich ideas on a broad range of issues and policies. He described the appointment as appropriate and well deserved.

In a statement by his Media Office yesterday, in Lagos, the president-elect said, “Congratulations to renowned economist, Dr. Iyabo Masha, on her appointment by the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24) as Director of its Secretariat.

“To say this appointment is an excellent appointment is stating the obvious. Dr. Masha’s knowledge, experience and immense skills have prepared her for high offices.

“She has a deep understanding of the economy, both national and global, and parades excellent ideas on a broad range of issues and policies.

“All of that earned her an eminent place as a member of Nigeria’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council, directly advising the president on economic policy from 2019-2022.

“Having worked on a range of countries at the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC, developing non-programme policies for emerging market and low-income economies in Africa and Asia, her experience, I understand, aligns with the purpose of G-24, which is to coordinate the position of developing countries on monetary and development issues, particularly issues on the agendas of the IMF.”

He added, “I congratulate this proudly Lagos Dr. Masha on her achievement. I know that more of this kind of appointment will come her way as Nigeria and the world will always require her talents and experience.”

Buhari Urges Nigerians in Diaspora to Support Tinubu

Buhari, yesterday, called on Nigerians in the diaspora to support the president-elect as he assumes office on May 29.

Speaking Tuesday evening in Doha, at a town hall meeting as part of his visit to the State of Qatar, Buhari said his administration was poised to emplace credible, transparent and fair elections, which will peak on March 11, with the governorship and state assembly elections.

The president called on Nigerians living abroad, especially those in Qatar, to “support the incoming government of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu so that Nigeria will continue to be the beacon of hope and prosperity in our continent and an example for other African countries to emulate.”

Speaking further, the president acknowledged the noble role Nigerians all over the world had been playing in the development of the country, adding that his administration has approved a National Diaspora Policy, and supported the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) all the way to develop programmes for the engagement of Nigerians abroad for the “ambassadors” to contribute their quota towards the development of their fatherland.

Earlier in his remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Yakubu Ahmed, congratulated Buhari for conducting successful presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25.

Ahmed said the election process proved that Nigeria’s democracy was strong. He prayed for an equally successful governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections.

Ahmed informed the president that Nigeria and the State of Qatar had maintained brotherly bilateral relationship since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2013, adding that there are currently about 7,000 Nigerians residing in Qatar, who were gainfully engaged in diverse areas of human endeavour.

“I’m proud to inform you, Your Excellency, that majority of our nationals in Doha are professionals who have excelled in their chosen careers, playing critical roles in healthcare, safety, oil and gas, aviation, construction, among other sectors,” he added

Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian community in the Qatar, Dr. Arabo Ibrahim, a Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, said he had every reason to thank the president, especially, for restoring peace in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

Ibrahim said, “Our people were chased out of Mubi in Adamawa State by Boko Haran terrorists, peace is back. Now we go there and sleep peacefully. There is a lot of food now. People from the neighbouring countries even come to buy food in Nigeria.”

Another member of the Nigerian community, Professor Akintunde Akinade, also thanked Buhari for conducting an election “alluded to as one of the best. We have gone through elections many times before and we all know what it’s all about. This is an election where money has taken a back seat. We’re very grateful to see what has happened this time in the presidential election.

“Thank you for bringing sanity to the country and the electoral process. We wish that this would continue.”

Akinade equally lauded Buhari for infrastructural revolution in the country, his anti-corruption war, keeping Nigeria together, as well as his well-known democratic crusade in Africa.

“I really want to thank you for your unwavering critique of African presidents that really want to stay in office forever. I wish you a well-deserved rest,” Akinade said.

Extend Hand of Fellowship to Other Candidates for National Unity, APC Chieftain Tells Tinubu

A chieftain of APC, Bamidele Faparusi, yesterday, urged Tinubu to extend the hand of fellowship to other presidential candidates that ran against him in the February 25 election.

Faparusi also called on the international community and civil society organisations not to dignify reports discrediting the outcome of the poll, saying such are fake news without substance.

The APC stalwart stated that Tinubu’s deliberate effort to embrace other contestants would foster national unity and reconciliations.

The Coordinator, Contact and Mobilisation Committee, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Committee in Ekiti State commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ensuring credible elections, despite numerous challenges.

Faparusi lauded “INEC for the successful presidential and National Assembly elections”. He alleged moves by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) to compromise the results of the election through cloned INEC servers.

Faparusi, in a press statement made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, said the “international communities and civil society organisations should not be deceived and misled by fake reports discrediting the outcome of one of the freest and fairest elections this country has ever conducted in recent times.

“If you look at the pattern of the results, you will realise that the outcome of that presidential election is the true reflection of the will of Nigerians. The people of Nigeria have spoken very loudly that their choice is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“This is politics and not a wish game, therefore the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) should not think they can force their wish on the country. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

Faparusi urged LP to consolidate on the electoral success recorded at the poll to build a more formidable opposition needed to ensure good governance by the APC rather than chasing shadow and displaying vain desperation.

He said Mr. Peter Obi and his followers “should allow the votes of the people in the rural areas to count, winners of elections are not determined only by votes from the urban areas.”

He pointed out that “in most polling units in Ekiti State, LP did not have a polling agent let alone mobilisers, the votes recorded by LP are from the student environs of Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, and that is understandable.”

The former National Assembly member pointed out that he had predicted that Ekiti would give Tinubu the highest percentage of votes and that LP would not get 10 per cent in the state, saying, “Exactly this is what happened.”

He said, “So, I was surprised when LP and PDP were challenging the outcome of our election in Ekiti. If we should have the election again 100 times, the outcome will only get worst for them.”

Faparusi congratulated Tinubu for fighting a good fight and winning.

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