Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, Iyaloja-general of Nigeria and daughter of Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says President Muhammadu Buhari has abandoned Nigerian market women who supported him in the last general election.
Tinubu-Ojo, who led a group of women to the APC national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, said that the market women yearned to be carried along by Buhari’s government.
“I am here this afternoon to represent the market women and men of Nigeria. There have been agitations, not even agitation or allegation; the people believe that the government of the day is not carrying them along as it should be; that they worked round the clock for the party during the campaign, but after the inauguration most of us are not carried along,” she said.
“We only hear in the news that the first lady is doing a programme, this and that. And we just see it in the news, and they wouldn’t allow me be; all the complaints come to my table morning and night. And I say okay, enough is enough… We even heard that another FCT woman leader is organising another market association named Association of Organised Market People in Abuja, and most of these people are PDP members; they were nowhere to be found when we were working for the party day and night. So, now our people are not happy because they need to benefit from where they believe they have the right to, and all we need, all we are crying for, is for the government to give them a sense of belonging and carry them along properly.”
When asked if her father, Tinubu was aware her agitation, she said: “Because I am the daughter of the national leader of APC doesn’t mean that I must not represent my people well. I have to represent my people’s opinion.
“I am a leader, and as a leader my people are crying foul, and I won’t fold my hands and keep quiet because my father is a national leader, it is wrong. I am not mobilising against the party, no. I am solidly behind the party, I have worked for the party before and I will still work for the party tomorrow, but that does not stop me from saying the truth.”
Speaking on the floor of the senate on January 26, Tinubu’s wife, Oluremi, had also accused the APC government of abandoning Nigerian women after “using” them in the 2015 general election.
“In its manifesto, the APC mentioned the need for empowerment programmes for Nigerian women,” she had said.
“Such comprehensive empowerment requires fund which should be included in the budget for implementation. Going through the budget for the federal ministry of women affairs, I discovered that the total allocation to the women ministry is so meagre and I think it would be the least allocation allotted to a ministry.
“And when we look at the functions of this ministry – the ministry is divided into two divisions: human resources and capacity building, economic services and women cooperative – but when we look at the first division, which is human resources and capacity building, they are supposed to promote education, development of women in the civil, political, socio-cultural and economic sectors.
“All these that I have also mentioned require capital. Looking at this budget of less than N4bn, they have capital with almost N3bn. So, when you look at it, what is left?
“I am just laying this case on behalf of the Nigerian women. This is not going well… It’s as if we were used during the campaign, and we said this is a government of change. The change mantra is supposed to change things across board.
“What they have allotted to the Nigerian women is not encouraging. When we talk about change, it doesn’t mean we are going to dodge and support what is not working.
“This is the best way to start. So that the women would not just be used for campaign and several promises made to them. On behalf of the Nigerian woman, I am making their case today that this budget is not telling anything and not making any promises, so when it gets to the committee level, they should have a way of trying to amend this budget so that it would meet all the needs that the Nigerian women and they would not incur the wrath of the Nigerian woman.” TheCable