-Nigerian women have been advised to mobilise girls and the youth to register as voters and obtain voter card to enable them vote in 2019
- He said participating in the electoral process was the only way women would not be consigned to the other room
- The former president also claimed he was he was the first president to appoint nine women into government
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has advised women to mobilise girls and the youth to register as voters and obtain voter card to enable them vote in 2019 elections.
Obasanjo said that participating in the electoral process was the only way women would not be consigned to “the other room” or the kitchen.
He stated this in a keynote address on “My Understanding of Women Aspiration in Business and Nation Building’’ on Friday, July 20, in Ibadan.He said he was the first president to appoint nine women into government.
The programme was organised by Initiative for Information, Arts and Culture Developments in Nigeria and the American Corner Jericho, Ibadan.
“No nation will become great when half of her population ends up only in the kitchen and the other room or get disproportionately discriminated against in the higher echelon of corporate management and in governance.
“The women represent a tool for positive change, depending on how they are treated and the levels of opportunities given to them to actualise their potential.
“The progress and development of any nation, I must say, is equal to the quality of women in that society,” he said.
The former president said that having worked with several women of virtue, “women as they are, lighten the space of governance’’.
He, however, blamed women for self-exclusion in the governance structure and processes.
“The country must stand to make a difference on the issue of gender inequality; the girl-child, like their male counterparts, must be allowed to have a say in the decision that affects their future.’’
Obasanjo charged women to take a quick look at history and understand how they had marginalized themselves, especially as the 2019 elections gathered steam.
“Women should know that they suffer double jeopardy when the wicked or the clueless rule. Women and their children are usually direct and indirect victims of ill-governance and poor leadership.
“Since independence, over 57 years ago, no woman neither occupied the highest office nor the second highest office in the land.
“Likewise, no woman has occupied the seat of Senate President and no woman has been elected governor of a state.
“Negotiate and seize the hour before they turn the table against you in 2019. This is my take: we should all rise from this meeting today and say to ourselves `enough is enough,” he said.
Chairman of the event, Prof. Bolanle Awe, recounted how in 1976, Obasanjo constituted 50-member committee without including any woman and which had laid the foundation for women marginalization in the political structure of the country till date.
Ms Darcy Zotter of the Department of Public Affairs, US Consulate, Lagos, urged women to be a 21st-century change agent through social media advocacy and activism.
She noted that even the United States had not met the 30 per cent women political affirmative action in line with the Beijing Conference of 1995.
The discussants, Mrs Achenyo Idachaba-Obara, Mrs Edem Ossai and Dr Olajumoke Morenikeji, in their separate remarks, agreed that women were doing more and getting less in policy formulation and key decision-making levels.
Dignitaries at the event included Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Atinuke Osunkoya; Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Prof Ayo Banjo, KOWA Party Presidential Candidate in 2015 elections, Prof. Remi Sonaya.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of doing harm to Nigeria and accused his administration of being confused.
Obasanjo disclosed this in Abuja at a summit organised by Prof. Ango Abdullahi where leaders of socio-political groups met to discuss the future of the country.
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