'I'll Empower Edo Women

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Senator Daisy Danjuma is the wife of a retired general who was in the Senate between 2003 and 2007.  She spoke with P.M.NEWS on various issues, especially those that affect women and children. The PDP  senatorial candidate for the 2011 election promised that if voted into the Senate, she would mobilise  the women and educate them to rise up for their rights and empower them. She says when you educate a  woman, you educate the nation.

On the issue of unemployment and how she will contribute to solve the problem, she said Nigeria is a  nation of consumers and that it is a country that produces that could provide employment for its  people. She said Nigeria is an unproductive consumer nation and most of the reason is because the  nation does not have enough electricity supply to make the industrial sector viable and that the cost  of using generators shoots up the  cost of production which has made most of the industries to close  down.

Daisy said what the government could do to salvage the situation is to make sure there is steady  electricity supply and when the industrial sector thrives there will be  employment.

She wants the agricultural sector  to be developed  as well as the tourism  industry and with a stable  political system and stable economic environment, business would thrive.

She believes that the government should also encourage investors and that with more investors  in a  stable atmosphere  definitely more industries will be established and more people will be employed.

On what she would do when she gets into the Senate, she said she was active when she was there and  that she would build upon her past achievement, make good laws, bring about capacity building,   perform her oversight function, make sure monies appropriated are well spent and to ensure that the  budget is properly implemented.

Speaking further on the challenges facing women generally in Nigeria especially regarding their  health, and the high maternal and infant  mortality rate in Nigeria,  she  blamed the problems on  poverty. She said she attempted to solve the problem while in the Senate through sponsoring  a bill   but she was misunderstood.

Daisy said the it is shameful that in the whole of Africa Nigeria has the highest rate of maternal and  child mortality. She recalled having chaired the child birth issue in the Senate, and that even in  ECOWAS she was the Chairperson on the subject matter as well as at Commonwealth level where they  attempted to bring about a change so as to reduce maternal and child mortality on the continent.

She said educating the women, empowering them, building capacity for them and providing enlightenment  programme would go a long way in improving their reproductive health and their wellbeing generally.

On the treatment of cervical and breast cancers, she promised to create awareness   and build health  centres where women can go for treatment, adding that the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has  promised that a cancer health centre will be built  so that women can go there for check up for early  treatment because if it is discovered early it can be cured or properly managed.

She also said the awareness campaign will help men who have colon cancer as well as  prostate cancer  to be treated.

On the jumbo pay federal lawmakers are earning now,  she said she could not tell what they are earning  but while she was in the Senate she earned enough  to cover her trips and other obligations.

On the Child Right Act, she was of the view that the Act is a law now and all that should be done is  for  various states to domesticate it. She promised that  effort will be made to ensure that the  states enforce the law, adding that religious leaders and traditional rulers would be persuaded to  join in the cmapaign for the enforcement of the law by state governors.

Daisy also said she visited the Oba of Benin on a campaign  to sensitise the people to desist from  dangerous practices such as genital multination and that it was successfully stopped.

—Yomi Obaditan/  Benin City