Obasanjo advocates 40 per cent affirmative action for women

Tue Jul 10th, 2018 - Abuja (FCT)

..Says nation’s democracy unhealthy

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA-Former President, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo has called for a constitutional amendment to pave way for 40 per cent participation of women in elective positions across all tiers of government in the country. The ex-President also said without a considerable number of women in active politics, the nation’s democracy would continue to grow at a slow pace.

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo made the remarks Tuesday in Abuja at an event marking the 70th birthday of former Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih. Presenting a paper entitled, “Nigerian Democracy and the Journey So far: The Role of Women,” Obasanjo tipped democracy as the best form of government for a diverse country like Nigeria, citing its unifying influence and opportunities for all.

In his words, the agitations for the involvement of women in partisan politics would make more impact if same is addressed through amendments of the relevant laws to remove constitutional limitations.

He said, “Our constitution should be amended to allow 40 per cent of women participation in politics. It is about time that women should feature in all aspect of our democratic process and practice. The health of our democracy can be judged by the participation of women,” adding that “the low number of women at the National Assembly is unacceptable and makes mockery of gender balance.”

While tasking the women folk to brace up for more leadership roles, Dr. Obasanjo noted that “Democracy is a system of government that allows team spirit and debate before decisions are reached; it is a government for all citizens to benefit without fear of favour.”

Also speaking at the event, Professor of Linguistic and 2015 Presidential aspirant on the platform of the KOWA party, Remi Shonaiya called on the larger society to accord equal priority to the education of the boy and girl child, saying doing so would facilitate nation building. The academic cum politician also reminded women in politics to dare to dream, urging them to turn obstacles on their path to opportunities.

Prominent politicians at the event included Alhaji Sule Lamido, Mr. Peter Obi, former governors of Jigawa and Anambra States respectively and Musa Elayo, erstwhile Minister of State for Justice.

The climax of the event was the launch of a biography of Mrs. Anenih entitled, “Celebrating an Extraordinary Amazon at 70.




source: Vanguard