ActionAid, YIAGA, want more women in Buhari’s ministerial list

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

Two groups have reacted to the low representation of women in the recent ministerial list released by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sent the names of 43 ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

The expected presidential cabinet has about seven women, which is 16 per cent. Mr Buhari also presented six women out of 42 nominees in 2015.

The new female nominees are Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), a former finance minister; Paulen Talen (Plateau) a former deputy governor; Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra), the Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); and Maryam Katagun (Bauchi), Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.

Others are Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi), former All Progressives Congress (APC) women national leader; Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara), former federal lawmaker; and Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara), the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI).

The Nigerian Executive Cabinet is a part of the executive arm in the country. Every appointed minister is a representative of each state in Nigeria.

To ensure effectiveness, the ministers have junior ministers,usually called ministers of state. They are all appointed by the president.

Unimpressed

ActionAid Nigeria, an international non-for-profit organisation, said it is disappointed in the number of women in the list submitted by President Buhari to the National Assembly.

The organisation described the list as lop-sided and short of meeting the 35 per cent Affirmative Action.

In a statement signed by the Country Director, Ene Obi, on Thursday, it said it is shocked over the number of women that made it on the list.

She also said the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), through President Buhari, failed to meet 35 per cent Affirmative Action as promised during the campaign in 2019.

The 35 per cent Affirmation Action bill was introduced in 2017 but was rejected by the 8th National Assembly. Mr Buhari had also promised to implement the national gender policy in his appointments.

The group called on President Buhari to retrieve the list, and do the needful by nominating more women.

It added that the list should also include youth and People Living with Disabilities (PWD). It said ”It is not too late to do the right thing and keep to the promise made to the Nigerian citizens.”

Also YIAGA Africa through its Not Too Young To Run Movement, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday called for more women to be included.

The group also fowned at the exclusion of youth and PWD.

YIAGA also said with the signing of the Not Too Young To Run (age reduction) bill into law by President Buhari in 2018, the president should have expanded the political space for youth participation in politics.

”President Buhari and the APC should keep their promise and show faith and fidelity with the Nigerian youths who entrusted them with a mandate for the next four years.

”The Not Too Young To Run movement is driven by the compelling need to restructure the country’s political system to address the deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics for transformative leadership and sustainable democracy.

”To this end, the Movement calls on President Buhari to ensure more appointment of youth, women, and persons with disabilities into boards and agencies and on State Governors to write their names in history by appointing a truly inclusive cabinet and ensure youth representation in boards and agencies across the 36 states of the Federation.”

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