- Zainab Ahmed from Kaduna State who is the immediate past finance minister
- Paulen Talen from Plateau State, a former deputy governor
- Sharon Ikeazor – Anambra – who has been Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD)
- Maryam Katagun of Bauchi, who is Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO
- Ramatu Tijani from Kogi who was APC national woman leader
- Gbemisola Saraki of Kwara State, sister of last Senate President Bukola Saraki and also a former member of the House of Representatives
- Sadiya Umar Faruk – Zamfara – who is of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI)
Unfortunately, in this current political dispensation, it is not only in the executive arm that women are perceived to be receiving the short end of the stick. In the current 9th National Assembly, there are just 7 female senators out of 109 and 22 women out of 360 House of Representatives members.
During the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, the number of female ministers were 12, representing about 31 per cent of the 42-member cabinet. Apart from Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, who was almost like a de facto prime minister with responsibility of overseeing other ministries, others were Mrs. Alison-Madueke again, Petroleum Resources; Prof. Ruquayat Rufai, Education; Mrs. Stella Odua, Aviation; Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim, Environment; Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Communication Technology; Ms Ama Pepple, Lands and Housing; Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, Water Resources; Hajiya Zainab Maina, Women Affairs and Social Development; Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, (State) Niger Delta Affairs; Prof. Viola Onwaliri, (State) Foreign Affairs; Erelu Olusola Obada, (State) Defence. Women had never had it so good then.
It is clear that the few women in the current executive and legislative arms need to prove a point to ensure that women are given more recognition. Making noise on social media and pages of newspapers will not give them more positions. They would need to encourage themselves to participate more in politics. The era of waiting for the men to recognise them seems to be over.
Women need to take the bull by the horn and be on the front seat in political, economic and social spheres of Nigeria’s development; otherwise they will end up always as complainants and accept whatever men offer them. There is nothing to show that male voters are more than female voters. Why can women not use their voting power to lay the mark? It has happened in other parts of the world.
Image credit: wikipedia.org, channelstv.com
Epa Ogie Eboigbe, veteran journalist, broadcaster and public affairs specialist writes and analyses current and historical issues with a ‘wise pen’.