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Ogun women protest, demand 50% representation in cabinet

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A coalition of women organisations in Ogun State yesterday protested at Governor Dapo Abiodun’s office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, demanding 50 per cent women representation in his yet-to-be-constituted cabinet.

The women, drawn from Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Justice Development and Peace Centre (JDPC), among others, who were received by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Oyedele-Salako and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, said they decided to storm the governor’s office to make their position known early enough before Abiodun submits his commissioner-nominees to the House of Assembly.

Dr. Biola Akiode of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), who spoke on behalf of the women, lamented the “appalling low representation of women in government” in Nigeria and across the states of the federation.

Akiode noted that of the 43 ministerial nominees presented to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari, only seven were women, citing Oyo, Edo, Anambra, among others where women representation is terribly low.She drew the attention of Abiodun-led administration to the past in the state where women get 42 per cent representation, warning that the minimum they could accept from the current state government is 35 per cent representation.

“We are here to make some requests. We have sent formal letters ahead of time; we have done what we call an open letter, which we have circulated in the media.“We are here with the youths, people with disability and we are more than 160 organisations that endorsed the protest of today,” she said.

The deputy governor, while responding on behalf of the governor, assured them that women would not only get fair representation but also seats where they would make significant impact on the society.

“Our governor is very gender-sensitive. I am confident that women will get a very good seat in this government and the truth is that there is more to just numerical representation. We don’t even want token nuisance, what we want is having women in proactive representation where they will be there and make difference on behalf of us,” she said.

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