The former Minister of State for Education and the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, made a bold attempt at wooing women of the state when he presented Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, as his running mate ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Wike explained that he decided to choose a woman as his running mate as a result of the desire to create a place for women to play active role in the political and economic development of the state.
He stated that the task of choosing a running mate took him some time, attributing the situation on the rot in the governance of the state.
Describing Mrs. Banigo, who is a former Head of Service in the state, as a rare breed and a leader with uncommon traits, Wike expressed optimism that the ex-Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the State Government would join his team to rebuild the state.
Banigo, who is from Degema Local Government Area, attended various universities, including the University of Ibadan where she obtained her Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (1976), the Harvard (1981) and the University of London (1990).
Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt, while presenting his running mate, Wike observed that though the history of the state was awash with the input of great women, no woman had been given the opportunity to hold an office as high as that of the state deputy governor.
He said, “The search has ended. Dr. (Mrs) Banigo is a rare breed and a leader with uncommon traits. She will join us to rebuild the state. Her choice was informed by the need to create a special place for women to play active role in the politics of the state.
Mrs. Banigo, in her acceptance speech, expressed gratitude to the party and the governorship candidate for picking her as running mate to Wike.
She observed the challenges facing the state and added that such challenges became tougher in the face of the dwindling revenue and security issues in the country.
Describing her nomination as the running mate to the PDP governorship candidate as an honour to Rivers women, Banigo pledges to bring her experience while serving the state to bare and ensure the empowerment of women.
She joined Wike to appeal to the women in the state to reciprocate the state PDP’s gesture and vote massively for the party in the forthcoming election. (NAN)