As more presidential aspirants join the race on the platform of All Progressives Congress ahead of it’s primaries, women in their numbers converged on Akure, the capital of Ondo State, to demonstrate their support for the candidacy of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in the 2023 presidential election.
The women, who defied the heavy rain, on Wednesday morning, took to the streets, chanting solidarity songs and carrying various placards with inscriptions such as “Yahaya Bello, the best man for the job”, “We’re not interested in zoning, this is one Nigeria”, and “Yahaya Bello, hero of women inclusion”, among others.
The women, members of over 700 groups across Nigeria, in the massive rally, tagged, “South West Mega Women Rally for Yahaya Bello”, said anyone who had the interest of Nigeria at heart would not be drumming the beats of zoning, but pray to God to give the country the best leader at this crucial point in history.
According to them, “regardless of what political oppressors might have fed the public”, it is an incontrovertible fact that Governor Bello had the capacity to build on President Muhammadu Buhari’s successes and tackle all challenges confronting Nigeria, headlong.
The women cut across different key sectors and professions such as Banking, Media, Nollywood, medical practice, including frontline entrepreneurs, market leaders, engineers and religious groups, among others.
The leader of the South-West market movement for Yahaya Bello, Deputy National President, Market Women Association of Nigeria, Princess Nike Aroloye, said the women of Nigeria were already looking beyond the primaries of the two parties.
“We already see the ticket with Yahaya Bello. Once he gets it, we are marching straight to Aso Rock. All my market women are ready to support him. We will go everywhere for this cause. He has said we are important. We will give him the reward,” she told pressman during the rally.
Nollywood actress, Rose Odika, who led other South-West female stars to the rally said, “I have said it before, and I will repeat it here. Yahaya Bello is the one we will support. From all he has done for women and for his state in general, he is the one to beat. We will only support those who support us.
“It has never happened before in the history of Nigeria for a leading presidential candidate to appoint a woman as the Director-General of his campaign.”
Responding, DG of the Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said the dreams of her mother for a better Nigeria for Nigerian women would be actualized with a Yahaya Bello presidency.
“I am so happy that Nigerian women have decided, for once, to take their destinies in their hands by supporting that one Governor that has given them so much voice and has made the world to see how women can turn stone into bread in a troubled economy. He will do the same for Nigeria.
“Seeing this huge honest crowd, I am confident that Yahaya Bello’s good deeds, belief in women, and giant strides in a women-filled government, have earned him the trust of Nigerian women. And I assure you, he will never forsake you. He has demonstrated this loudly in Kogi State,” she noted.