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Women group writes open letter to Ogun governor, demand 35 per cent inclusion in cabinet

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
13 December 2019   |   2:15 am
A group of concerned citizens representing diverse non-governmental organisations and working towards the advancement of women in Ogun State and Nigeria have given the Executive...

…To embark on peaceful protest, if demands are not met
A group of concerned citizens representing diverse non-governmental organisations and working towards the advancement of women in Ogun State and Nigeria have given the Executive Governor of Ogun state, Dapo Abiodun an ultimatum to include 35 per cent women in the commissioner nominees transmitted to the state house of assembly before the end of Sunday 15th, December or a peaceful protest will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019.

In an open letter addressed to the Ogun governor and signed by Dr. Abiola Akiyode –Afolabi of Women Advocates research and Documentation Center (WARDC), Ms Kemi Asiwaju-Okeyondo of The Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, Ms. Ireti Disu of Justice Development and Peace Commission and Mrs Doyin Ogunbiyi of Voice of Ogun Women, is also on behalf of 35 other women groups cut across the country.

According to the letter, “We believe that more women in leadership is a prerequisite for sustainable democracy and development. We are therefore concerned about the absence of a sizeable number of women nominees for appointment as commissioners in the state.

“We believe that your Excellency through these actions has failed to keep to your promise of ensuring gender equity through at least 35 per cent inclusion of women in your government. We were surprised that out of 17 commissioners only two of the nominees are women.”

The group however has asked the governor to fulfill the promise he made of having a balanced cabinet. “May we also remind the governor about our open letter on the above subject on the 27th of July 2019 and subsequent protest by women in the state to the governor’s office, where they were received by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele and the public assurances made to the mammoth crowd of women representatives.

“May we further remind you of the critical role women played in ensuring your victory at the polls and also that; in the last four administrations; to wit, former governors Gbenga Daniel and Ibikunle Amosun had 37 per cent and 45 per cent women respectively in their cabinets. The proposed number of nominees by the governor is less than 12 per cent and is totally unacceptable by any standards.

“We call on your Excellency to emulate the Governor of Kwara State and other progressive governors who had ensured, irrespective of all odds, to be inclusive in their nominations and appointments.”

The group also noted that the call on the Governor to do the needful is necessary to avoid a call for a legitimate mass action, by women in the state.

“We believe that women play vital roles in ensuring the future of a society and until we start engaging women meaningfully in the affairs of the society politically, we will continue to struggle with the current challenges we’re faced with as a people. A simple study of thriving economies reveal that there are a lot of women holding vital positions in those economies; with their influence effecting, positive changes.

“We therefore urge the leadership of the House of Assembly to show progressive leadership by failing to confirm these nominations until we have the proper composition that truly reflects a democracy.”