Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari seems uninterested in the new concept of gender-friendly cabinet appointments in Africa.
Some African leaders are beginning to give more spaces to women in their cabinet.
South Africa, Ethiopia, and Rwanda surprised the world when they gave equal opportunities to women in their cabinets by releasing a list that represented 50% women representation to match the 50% male representation.
One thing that many people expected from Buhari’s delayed list was gender parity, especially since the ministerial appointments for his first term in office largely favored men. Something he was greatly criticized for.
President Buhari’s notion that women are not suited for political positions and leadership was further heightened in a 2016 interview where he said his wife ‘belonged to the other room’.
Referring to the bedroom, the president had said the first lady, like every other woman, had no business commenting on politics or matters of leadership. There are credible sources that claim that he went on to prevent his wife, the first lady from granting interviews.
The first lady of the country, Aisha Buhari has always spurred divided opinions on issues concerning the husband. She had said during an interview that she would not support her husband’s second term bid as president and in all fairness; she was not as present as she was during the first term election campaigns.
However, she still occupies the office of the president and just a few months ago, demanded to be addressed as the first lady, no longer ‘wife of the president’; as she and the president had earlier requested.
Yesterday, the president officially transmitted a list of his ministerial nominees to the Senate for vetting and further confirmation.
The move is part of efforts aimed at forming a new cabinet for the second term of the Buhari – Osinbajo administration. In all 43 names were forwarded to the Senate.
The Senate President Ahmad Lawan confirmed receipt of the list and announced that lawmakers had postponed their annual recess for a week to enable them to screen the nominees.
Out of the 43 names submitted, seven were women. Amongst them, the immediate past Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad (Kaduna) and sister of the immediate past Senate President, Gbami Saraki (Kwara).
The remaining five profiled by local media portal Cable Nigeria were: Pauline Tallen, a one-time Minister under Olusegun Obasanjo and the first female deputy-governor in the northern region.
Mariam Katagum, a former Nigerian ambassador and permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Sadiya Farouq, a former national treasurer for Buhari’s party, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
Completing the list are Sharon Ikeazor and Ramatu Tijjani, ex-civil servants and big shots in the ruling All Peoples Congress, APC.
The male nominees on the list are:
Rauf Aregbesola, George Akume, Timipre Sylva, Adeniyi Adebayo, Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Adamu Adamu, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Sunday Dare, Festus Keyamo, Sharon Ikeazor, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Olorunnibe Mamora, and Sadiya Farouk.
Judging by the number of ex-governors and close political associates who made the list, it confirms the criticism that the president has used the ministerial positions to compensate his allies.
After all, he said last week that he would only give ministerial positions to those he knows personally.
Header Image Credit: Pulse.ng