President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to fulfill his promise and urgently implement the 35% affirmative action for women.
The charge was made by Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, MD/CEO, Women Radio, the first and only radio station for women in Nigeria.
Okewale-Sonaiya, in a congratulatory message on the re-election of President Buhari for a second term in office, stressed that the president should stay committed to his promise of implementing the 35% affirmative action for women.
Okewale-Sonaiya who mentioned that the president in his first term didn’t improve on the appointment of women into offices added there was a decline in comparism to the previous administration.
“Your Excellency, you will recall that even your opponents agree that your 2015 victory was a watershed moment in our history that signaled a new beginning of great possibilities. Unfortunately, we have had less to celebrate in the area of women representation in your governance and the feminization of poverty in Nigeria.
“Amongst other not so impressive statistics in the last 4 years, you nominated only 6 women out of 36 ministerial positions. This represents a paltry 16% as against the 31% of women representation in the administration before you”, she added.
Giving a breakdown of women’s votes, Women Radio’s CEO explained that “Particularly worthy of note, are the millions of women across ethnic, religious and even class divide who voted for you in 2015 and have done same in the 2019 elections.
“While the data released by INEC on collected PVCs for the 2019 elections do not break down by sex, available 2015 presidential election voter turnout data shows that housewives were the third highest group out of the nine groups that voted.
“In 2015, three million, six hundred and sixty-seven thousand, and seventy-six (3,667,076) housewives voted in the presidential election, placing next to students (4,480,708) and civil servants (4,628,433). Similarly, housewives rank third on the list of registered voters by group in the 2019 election.
“That fraction out of women’s vote represent 14.10 per cent of the total registered voters by group, next to farmers/fishers (16.23 per cent) and students (26.57 per cent). This figure does not include the millions of women across the various other groups who make up the total votes from Women.”
She added that “Mr. President, as we anticipate your swearing-In ceremony for the second term, history beckons that you rise to the occasion and walk your talk by ensuring you lead the way in the implementation of the 35% affirmative action. You must be INTENTIONAL and DELIBERATE; to foster good governance and show that you’re accountable to true democracy by appointing more Women.”
Okewale-Sonaiya quipped that “it is said that uneasy lies the head that wears the Crown, and we will continue to pray for the Almighty God to grant you the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to stir the ship of our Nigeria but you must acknowledge and embrace at least 35% Women in your government.”