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Aremu calls for more inclusive gender sensitivity in governance


Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu

Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu

Labour leader, Issa Aremu who recently lost his wife, Hajiya Hamudat Abiodun Abiye Aremu has advocated for gender equality in the country, saying that the inclusion of more women in the process of governance will promote the nation’s growth and development.

Aremu’s wife, Hamudat died recently following a brief illness and was buried according to Islamic rites at her family hometown in Ilorin.

Speaking at the posthumous 51st birthday of the deceased, Aremu who is the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Secretary General of the National Union of Textiles, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) said, “today, I use this occasion to call on all, including government and corporate organizations to mainstream women in the families, at workplaces, governments and society at large”, saying that “the two women in my life, namely my late mother and wife have shown that what many good things many men cannot do, women can even do better”.

He said: “my wife has shown that life is not how long but how well. I am happy that many women are holding the positions of authorities at all levels. But am unhappy that only few women just like the men are adding the necessary values to family, corporate and national developments”.
“It is a sad commentary that some women are as bad as even not worse than some men. I am proud to be associated with women of virtues.

Adams Oshimhole sums it up when he rightly observed that my wife had the heart of Gold. But what he did not say is that his late wife Clara Oshiomhole mentored my wife in selflessness, sacrifice and perseverance and the virtue of the fact that only death can do us apart”.

Aremu who was irked by the poor performances of some men in governance stated: “I demand that women in political process should make a difference. They should promote issues in politics as distinct from personalities and candidates. Issues begging for attention of our numerous candidates include wealth-generation, re-industrialization, poverty eradication, health, collapse of education, housing crisis, lawlessness and disorderliness, violence-free elections, anti-corruption, peace and fair and just world”.

The labour chief argued: “in place of candidates (in which many are now for a kobo), women should promote candid programmes. Instead of juicy positions and cars-collection, buying (as if holding offices is about self-help), our sisters in the senate should promote selflessness and show that governance is about security and welfare of the citizens not elected officials”.
“Instead of fire for fire in politics, women should promote ideas for ideas, issues for issues. Instead of politics as war, (in which women are being turned into instant widows), women should change the macho-image of politics to that of enterprise for development and welfare. It should be welfare and not warfare”.

According to him, “Nigeria is totally imperiled if either by omission or commission, women join in the present obscenely advertised madness of the ruling male elite, the manifestations of which include political blood-letting, whole sale corruption, fuel scarcity, water shortage, energy failure, robbery, repeated universities’ closures ad-infinitum”.
“In place of pessimism and despair, women must raise the banner of optimism and hope. We don’t need iron ladies who will out-do men in their already discredited rough-shoulder macho-politics of greed, grab-grab and hack-down-the opponents. On the contrary, we need women that are knowledge-driven, sober and humble enough to forge consensus in the areas of development and poverty eradication. These are the values of women I have been privileged to be associated with; they are my mother and wife who sadly are no more in bodies but are here fully in good spirit”.
The NLC chieftain who described the death of his wife as a painful vacuum in his life said: “Today is also the 7/8th day Fidahu for her.

By this time last week, my wife was alive. I was away in Geneva representing the NLC at the Workers’ symposium on decent work global supply chains: Geneva, 15-17 December, 2015. The first day of the symposium on that day, Tuesday we woke each other up for the subhi prayer. Nigeria and Europe are currently on same time zone. But by Ashir, 4pm I received the sad news of her emergency state and death almost simultaneously”.
“It is an open knowledge that almost exactly three months ago, (precisely on Sallah day, 24th September) together with my wife, relations, comrades and friends nation-wide we did the Janazzat of my late dear mother Hadjia Afusatu Amoke. My wife’s death in relative quick succession is additional loss too heavy and quick to bear. We take eternal solace in the Quranic injunction; Innaa lillahi wa ‘inna ‘ilayhi raaji’oon.”

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