Chris Steven, Abuja
Following protest by some groups over the ministerial nomination of Hajia Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto state, a coalition of women groups and FCT women have called on the Senate to ignore such call, even as they lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the nomination.
The groups under the auspices of Women of Grace and Agape Sisters in collaboration with FCT Women for Empowerment Initiative have described the protest as retrogressive which is against the 30 percent affirmative action, stressing that various women groups are agitating for inclusion of more women in the next cabinet.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition in Abuja, Mrs. Rachel Okpe told journalists in Abuja on Monday that the reason advanced by some disgruntled women of Sokoto state was not a true reflection of Sokoto women as the state remains a citadel of civilization in Northern Nigeria, just as the groups called on the Senate not to be intimidated by such protest.
The coalition equally noted that based on the administrative pedigree of the ministerial nominee, she should be allowed to take the usual “bow and go” rather than questioning his capabilities of representing Sokoto state as a minister.
“We as coalition of women groups are rattled and embarrassed over the protest by some disgruntled women from Sokoto state over the ministerial nomination of Hajia Aisha Abubakar.
We are embarrassed because the reason given by the protesters that a women cannot represent the seat of caliphate does not conform with the 21st century wisdom. We are equally rattled because the protest came at a time when we are about protesting the inclusion of more women in the cabinet to balance the 30 percent affirmative action.
“To be honest, the call for the withdrawal of the ministerial nominee is retrogressive and unproductive. We trust the 8th senate that they will not be intimidated by such sponsored protest, rather they should allow her to take a bow and go based on her pedigree in various administrative positions she has held in recent past,” the groups maintained.
The coalition also used the forum to stress that her tenure as Managing Director of Abuja Enterprise Agency was the brightest as she used her administrative acumen to turnaround the moribund agency to an enterprising outfit.
According to the women groups, “she is among the very best of the ministerial nominees because her tenure as MD in Abuja Enterprise Agency was the era where many women were empowered in the Federal Capital Territory through various skill acquisitions. We urge the senate to do the needful and confirm her nomination.”