Following the nomination of commissioners by the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday, a women group, Ondo State Women Must Count (OSWMC), has faulted the list, saying women were discriminated against.
The National Coordinator of the group, Olamide Falana, who led other women groups in a protest in Akure on Wednesday, lamented that women were extremely marginalised in the list.
“We express our displeasure and find unacceptable the recent list of commissioners submitted by the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to the state House of Assembly for screening,” Mrs. Falana said.
“The said list shows a total disregard to the yearnings of the women of the state who hitherto had very high hopes of a better representation in numbers in the leadership of the state especially with the new thinking the governor professed.”
Mrs. Falana, who was the governorship candidate of Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, in the November 26, 2016 governorship poll, lamented further that the inclusion of just two women out of 18 commissioner nominees was unacceptable.
She accused the state government of “merely paying lip service to issues of gender parity promised in its manifesto.”
“This is the worst among all APC governed states where women have better deals as gender is not seen as a consideration in development of Ondo State; whereas no nation can develop to its full potentials if major stakeholders are not allowed the space for due representation and participation,” she said.
The women demanded an urgent change in the status quo, which have only Omowumi Olatunji-Edet from Akure South and Lola Fagbemi from Ondo West as women commissioner-nominees.
Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Segun Ajiboye, has denied the allegation.
“This cannot be true. As a true democrat, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is well aware of the role of women in electoral process,” he said.
“During the campaign and even since inauguration, he has consistently eulogised the role the women played during the election.
“And he has demonstrated this in the choice of women he has appointed as commissioner-nominees, special advisers and special assistants.
“It is important that we exercise patience and continue to support the governor in the task of moving the state forward.”