By Josephine Agbonkhese
The Ogun State Assembly has been advised by women groups to reject the commissioner nominees’ list passed to it by the state governor, Dr Dapo Abiodun, on the ground that it lacks gender balance.
In an open letter dated December 13th, 2019, and signed by the Executive Director, Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi; Kemi Asiwaju-Okeyondo of Rule of Law & Empowerment Initiative; Ireti Disu of Justice Development and Peace Commission and Doyin Ogunbiyi of Voice of Ogun Women on behalf of 33 other non-governmental organisations in the state, the women argued that more women in leadership is a prerequisite for sustainable democracy and development.
It read in parts: “We were surprised that out of 17 commissioners only two of the nominees are women. We believe that Your Excellency, through this action, has failed to keep to your promise of ensuring gender equity through at least 35% inclusion of women in your government.
“We kindly want to remind Your Excellency about the promises you made in different fora in the presence of the media, that your cabinet will comprise 50% women.
“May we further remind you of the critical role women played in ensuring your victory at the polls and also that former Governor Gbenga Daniel and Governor Ibikunle Amosun had 37% and 45% women respectively in their cabinets. The current number of nominees is less than 12% and that 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.
“We therefore, through this letter, ask that you do the needful to avoid a call for a legitimate mass action by women in the state.
“We also 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.”
The women also issued the governor a three-day ultimatum ending Sunday 15th, to consider their demand for more women nominees in the cabinet.