Posted by Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta | 1 August 2019 | 700 times
Hundreds of women in Ogun state on Thursday stormed the governor’s office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta to protest the alleged exclusion of women from the governance of the state.
The women numbering about 160 different groups came under the umbrella of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre and demanded the participation of 50 per cent of the women in the cabinet of the state governor , Dapo Abiodun.
The women were armed with placards with various inscriptions which include; The future is female, embrace the future; women march for political participation and equity; women demand for constitutional equity now; women are technocrats, women are nation builders, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, the convener, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi said the protest is to warn the governor against excluding women from his cabinet.
Akiyode-Afolabi added that the women would embark on a mass protest across the state if minimum of 35 per cent of women are not represented in the commissioners’ list Abidoun plan to submit to the House of Assembly.
She emphasized, “We are very worried and we are concerned because of the trend that we can see around us. Beyond Lagos that sent a 32 per cent to the Assembly, the low representation of women is occurring in other states.
“We don’t want to react rather to be proactive to make our request clear; we believe that this present government would consider to have the representation of women in this coming cabinet.
“We are here with the youth, people with disability and we are more than 160 organization that endorse the protest of today.
“We are coalition leaders, we can mobilize hundred, thousands, but, we feel that we should come here today to let you know that if the nomination that goes to the state house of assembly is not representing our interest, the women in Ogun will not agree with it. “
“The minimum is 35 per cent and it can be as high as 50 per cent, we know that the governor of the state is gender sensitive and that is why we are here today to make our request known before the list is sent to the assembly”.
Speaking with the clerk and members of the state House of Assembly, the convener appealed to the lawmakers to reject the governor’s nominees list if it is not representing at least 35 per cent women.
She added that the state has capable women that can head different ministries and the governor must be ready to include them in the governance of the state.
She said, “In Ogun state, we have more than enough capable, qualified, technocrats women that can have impact in the state.
“We don’t want to come after the governor has submitted his list and that is when they would tell us that it is too late.
“This is a warning protest because we would not let the house go ahead to take any nomination that is not inclusive, we are going to come in large numbers.
“We are appealing to you to ask the right question when they bring the list and ensure that the list is inclusive because if the list is not inclusive, we are coming back in large numbers and we will not agree”.
Meanwhile, the deputy governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele has assured the women that the Abiodun’s government would include women that can impacted in the development of the state.
Salako-Oyedele stressed that the present administration is working on including people that would bring positive impact to the governance of the state and not just about numerical figures.
The Deputy Governor further said, “I can assure you that the governor is very committed to having women and not just token women, but, women in impactive positions.
“Our governor is very gender sensitive, but, our government is not concern about your gender, but, your ability and the fact is that when it comes to performance, women do better than men.
“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.
“The policies of Prince Dapo Abiodun are policies that are going to help women, we must bear in mind not only to talk about representation, but, also to have policies that is going to impact in women’ lives positively”. (Vanguard)
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