Some advocates of women rights have condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list for refusing to fulfill the 35 percent female representation made by his campaign organisation.
Buhari’s Campaign Organisation, had during the 2019 election in a document titled ‘Next Level Road map,’ promised a 35 percent representation of women in the Federal cabinet. However only seven women made it to the list.
Mufuliat Fijabi, chief executive officer of the Nigeria Women Trust Fund, in an interview with PUNCH correspondence showed her disappointment on the number of women selected .
She said, “So far, we’ve seen a few names of women on the list and we’re not very happy, because the number of women is not what we expected from the President.
“We would have preferred a situation whereby at least 35 per cent of the list is made up of women.
“We like the fact that he still considered women, but we are not happy with the number. So, we hope that there will still be room for him to ensure that we have a minimum of 35 per cent.
“Sincerely, Nigeria, as we speak today, is not practicing what we would describe as inclusive democracy because of the almost absence of women.”
When asked if Buhari had broken his promise she replied, “Yes, I would say so. Although he hasn’t given reasons why he did that, in my opinion, he didn’t fulfill his promise.
“He has only appointed a few women, which we thank him for; but he hasn’t fulfilled his promise to the Nigerian people.”
Mary George, a Senior Programmes Officer of the Women Advocate Research and Documentation Center, also said that Buhari’s ministerial list did not portray feminine inclusiveness in his government.
She said, “For us as women advocates, we should be able to see more women on that ministerial list. Unfortunately, by the time we did our count, it was only seven.
“Looking at the 35 per cent affirmative action that we have always been advocating for, and we even did a newspaper publication to encourage government to put more women on that ministerial appointees’ list, we are not happy.
“However, we think that there is always room for government to make an amendment as far as they are committed to issues of gender development in Nigeria. We hope that in the nearest future, we are going to see more of women in such positions.”