Election: Female technocrats, others campaign against voter apathy

Election: Female technocrats, others campaign against voter apathy
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By Grace Alegba

The Directorate of Professional Women, Independent Campaign Council (ICC) of the APC Presidential Candidate Committee, Lagos State, on Friday urged technocrats to lead the campaign against voter apathy in the general elections.

They made the call at a hybrid Interactive Session with the Executive Governor of Lagos State with the theme: “The Relevance of Professionals in Deepening Democratic Values: Lagos State as a Case Study”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was later represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde, on the zoom with 50 professional associations in attendance.

Sanwo-Olu commended the ICC for efforts towards success of electioneering process and promised continual collaboration with the private sector towards infrastructure development and maintenance in the state.

The governor also promised enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Lagos.

He appealed for more support and gave assurance that his administration would not disappoint or relent in making Lagos rise.

Sanwo-Olu gave instances of the track record of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Director, TinubuShettima/Sanwo-OluHamzat, ICC, Dr Atinuke Owolabi, announced that a communique from the meeting would be sent to Gov. Sanwo-Olu.

Earlier, while making her opening speech, Owolabi, an award winning engineer, urged professionals to join in deepening democratic values by performing their civic responsibilities and educating others on the need to vote.

“To ensure that one man one vote is properly enshrined, we must all participate as much as possible and there must be transparency and accountability.

“As professionals in different fields, we should take up the responsibility of performing our civic right and get rid of voter apathy. When this is done, we would all be reckoned with,” she said.

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She said that professionals must come together and get involved in making contributions for good government policies and implementation.

Owolabi wondered if professionals were carried along in the Naira swap.

She challenged the experts to take the lead in rebuilding Nigeria, to stop mass migration of youths for a better nation.

“If we all run out of this country, who will build Nigeria? The professionals are the ones to build this country,” she said.

She said professionals were close to both the government and the grassroots and could serve as a bridge for interpreting policies to the masses.

Owolabi said that the ICC’s goal was to sensitise the electorate in order to avoid void votes among the ballots cast for APC in all the elections.

Mrs Monsurah Alagbe, Lagos Chapter Chairman, Association of Professional Women Engineers, said the strength of any group lies in its unity, as such technocrats must unite for good governance.

Mr Paul Owolabi, Chairman, Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, urged technocrats in the public sector to always carry their colleagues in the private sector along in decision making for robust policies in the nation.

Mrs Olufunmilayo Ogunsi a retired principal called for continuity in the interactive programme of experts beyond elections and said inclusion of young people should be a priority.

She joined other experts to call for mentorship for youths to close the gap between the people at the grassroots and the elites.

Lagos Chapter Chairman, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, Mr Ayuba Akere called for inclusion of professional bodies in all decisions of government to eliminate quackery and help to deliver quality service to the citizenry.

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Mrs Omowunmi Ogunbambi, deputy director, ICC urged professionals to take the lead in the forthcoming election while other speakers raised issues across sectors requiring both government and technocrats interventions.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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