The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has revealed that he lost a lot of money sponsoring women to be deputy governors in Northern states.
Atiku, a former Vice President, advised political parties to allot at least 30 percent of deputy governorship slots to women during an interactive session with a Coalition of PDP Women on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said since 1999, he has been trying to produce a female deputy governor in any of the Northern states without success.
“I have sponsored women as deputy governors. I lost all my money, up till today, I have not succeeded.
“Every time I say let’s have a deputy governor in Kogi state, it wouldn’t work. Let’s have a deputy governor in Taraba state, it wouldn’t work.
“The only way is to get the parties to make it mandatory to say a certain percentage of deputy governors should be women. Otherwise, if we allow it to evolve on its own it will take maybe another hundred years,” he said.
He told the women that he has used every available opportunity to appreciate his upbringing which, he said, was singlehandedly sponsored by his mother.
Atiku said he instructed that 80 percent of loan facilities in Standard Microfinance Bank he has in partnership with Bangladesh experts be given to women, noting that about 45,000 families have already been lifted out of poverty.
“So honestly, the best policy to move family out of poverty is to empower women. If you do that, you will see how fast you will get out of poverty, particularly now that Nigeria has been decimated as the capital of poverty in the world, we need to engage our women to turn it round for good,” he added.