Women leaders and political groups on Tuesday pledged to support Sen. Patricia Akwashiki’s bid for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to contest the Nasarawa State Governorship seat.
The women, who spoke through Mrs. Stella Ogboshi, PDP Women Leader in the state, also promised to mobilise women across party divide to support one of their own to lead the north-central state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the women spoke in Lafia, when Akwashiki, former information minister, formally declared her interest in the governorship race.
Ogboshi said that Akwashiki had the requisite experience to run the state if elected in 2019, recalling her sterling contributions when she was in the National Assembly and later as minister.
“Akwashiki is set for the job; she has served as senator, member of the House of Representatives and member of the Nasarawa House of Assembly and has seen it all. She has been toughened for a greater role,” Ogboshi said.
Ogboshi expressed optimism that Akwashiki would transform Nasarawa State and succeed where her male counterparts had failed, and urged all Nasarawa voters to “try a woman for a change”.
Earlier in her remarks, Akwashiki had urged male members of PDP to support a woman to pick the party’s governorship ticket so as to give the women a chance to govern the state.
“Nasarawa State has never been governed by a woman; we deserve a chance in the interest of justice, fairness and equity.
“We are prepared to lead and lead well. All we want is an opportunity to prove our mettle,” she said.
In his remarks, the PDP Chairman in the state, Mr Francis Orugu, said that women had proved that they were capable of leading the society and deserved special consideration.
He assured all aspirants of a level playing field in the search for quality candidates, and promised that no candidate would be imposed on PDP members during the primary elections.
Newsmen reports that women leaders of the PDP from the 13 local governments and 18 Development Areas took turns to pledge their support to Akwashiki’s aspiration.
While noting that she was the only woman among the aspirants, they said that she had won their support on merit.
NAN also reports that the wife of the state PDP Chairman, Mrs. Orugu, and women leaders from the 147 wards of the state, witnessed the declaration.