By Josephine Agbonkhese
More Women Campaign Group, a coalition of women and youths professionals representing different ethnic, economic, social and political allegiance, has applauded Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State for including nine women in his 16-member cabinet.
The group which also includes organisations for persons with disabilities, in a statement, said the gesture will be recorded in history as first of its kind in Nigeria, as the inclusion translates into a 56.25% representation for women in the state cabinet.
“We believe that this form of democracy provides the opportunity for open, responsible and accountable system of governance that thrives on the principle that power belongs to the people and that every strata of the society is represented. We have noted with gladness the representation of young people and minority groups within the appointment.
“This step by Governor Abdulrazaq resounds the yearning of well- meaning Nigerians, home and abroad. The appointment demonstrates his support for women voices and serves as a recognition of their relevance in the society.
“Modeling a best practice of this nature is important for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG. We therefore applaud Kwara State for breaking the cycle of women’s exclusion in Nigeria and applaud the All Progressive Congress, APC, for supporting this development in the state.
“We call on all other state governors to imbibe the culture of equitable representation for better and prosperous governance, and urge the women appointed to demonstrate the importance of women inclusion to good governance,” said the statement signed by 188 civil society organization including the Women Advocates Research And Documentation Center, WARDC; Nigeria Labour Congress, Women Committee; and the West African Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP Nigeria.
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Among the other signatories are: Transition Monitoring Group; Nigeria Union of Teachers; Nigeria Women Trust Fund; Women’s Rights and Health Project; Women Radio 91.7; Federation of Women Lawyers; Fembridge Development Initiative; First Future Leadership; Forward in Action For Education, Poverty And Malnutrition; Gender Action Awareness Trust; Gender Advocacy for Justice Initiative; Gender and Constitution Reform Network; Gender and Development Action; Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction; 100 Women Lobby Group and ACTs Generation.