37 women groups have issued a three days ultimatum to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State to nominate more women into his cabinet or face the occupation of Government House by angry women from Monday.
To them, more women in leadership positions would be a prerequisite for sustainable democracy and development.
Their agitation was contained in an open letter to the governor on the absence of 35 per cent women in the Commissioner nominees transmitted to Ogun State House of Assembly, obtained in Abuja by Journalists on Saturday.
The letter which had a copy sent to the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly and Secretary to the State Government reads: “We, the undersigned are a group of concerned citizens representing diverse non-governmental organizations working towards the advancement of women in Ogun State and Nigeria. We believe that more women in leadership is a prerequisite for sustainable democracy and development.
“We are therefore concerned about the absence of a sizeable number of women nominees for appointment as commissioners in the state. We believe that your Excellency through these actions has failed to keep to your promise of ensuring gender equity through at least 35% inclusion of women in your government. We were surprised that out of 17 commissioners only two of the nominees are women.
“We kindly want to remind the Governor about the promises that the cabinet will comprise 50% women which your excellency, made in different fora in the presence of the Nigerian media. May we also remind the Governor about our open letter on the above subject on the 27th of July 2019 and subsequent protest by women in the state to the Governor’s office, where they were received by the Deputy Governor, HE, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele and the public assurances made to the mammoth crowd of women representatives.
“May we further remind your Excellency, the Governor, of the critical role women played in ensuring your victory at the polls and also that; in the last four administrations; to wit, Former Governor Gbenga Daniel and Governor Ibikunle Amosun had 37% and 45% women respectively in the cabinet. The proposed number of nominees by the Governor is less than 12% and 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.
“It is our opinion that this current move by the governor has in every way questioned the integrity and the will to keep to promises and women see this as an affront. We believe that the Governor still has the opportunity to ensure compliance by increasing the number of women in his cabinet.
We therefore through this letter call on the Governor to do the needful to avoid a call for a legitimate mass action, by women in the state.
“Like the saying goes “invest in a man, you grow an individual, but invest in a woman, you build nation”. We believe that women play vital roles in ensuring the future of a society and until we start engaging women meaningfully in the affairs of the society politically, we will continue to struggle with the current challenges that we’re faced with as a people.
“A simple study of thriving economies reveal that there are a lot of women holding vital positions in those economies; with their influence effecting, positive changes.
“We therefore 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.
“We therefore give the Governor three days (ending on Sunday 15th) to consider our demand for more women nominees in the Cabinet or we will be left with no other option than to lead a peaceful protest on Monday the 16th December 2019 to make our demands public. We remain committed to supporting the Governor but we will ensure we demand that he ‘leaves no one behind!’”