You Can’t Scrap Office Of The First Lady- Women Rights Activist Tells Buhari


Outspoken women rights crusader, Pastor Nonnie Roberson has called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari not to scrap the Office of the First Lady as being generally speculated.

She said with the scrap of the office, a big vacuum would be created in the government, while women in Nigeria would be made idle politically.

The founder of Nigerian Women in Clergy told newsmen in Abuja yesterday that, “The non-recognition of the First Lady’s office in Nigeria’s political scheme of things is already taking its toll on the family as some husbands have directed their wives to idle away at home since even the President’s wife has no office that keeps her busy”.

Stressing on the importance of the office of the First Lady towards national development, Pastor Nonnie said it is imperative that they perform certain roles and responsibilities, which comes naturally with their position within the office of the Presidency.

She said, “If you perceive that one or two First Ladies misbehaved, you will also perceive that some did well. So, there should be no need for taking a drastic action abolishing the office of the First Lady.

We shouldn’t throw away the baby with the bath water. We noticed that they go out of the boundaries. We should find a way to curtail that rather than scrapping the office entirely. Like it or not, there were first ladies who played significant roles with strong and good initiatives”.

She said there are so many social development challenges that need to be immediately addressed.
Pastor Nonnie harped on the need for gender balance in governance, stressing that the women folks have all it takes to contribute immensely to the growth of the country.

She canvassed that women should be allowed to get 50 per cent of appointments in government being an improvement from the 35 percent slot offered to them by the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the women rights campaigner, the present government should retain the 35 percent positions for women in government if it is not prepared to increase the slots, stressing, “I just pray that the new administration should maintain the thirty five percent or even more”.

According to her, “Many women come naturally endowed with leadership abilities. We are mothers. We have children with different traits and characters. We know how to reach each child and bring the best out of them.
From the beginning, we are coded to know how to arrange the world. When God created Adam, he saw that it was not good for him to be alone so he created woman, things became balance. We bring balance; we make things happen. We as women add colour.

Reeling out the statistics, she said, “If you check like from 2003 to date, out of 109 senators in 2003, women were just three, House of representatives, we had 17, in 2007 we had 9 House of Representatives members, 2008 we came down to 8 female Senators while House of Representative had 19 women. 2015 is the worst as we had 6.5 percent, House of Representatives 14.

“In the just concluded election into the National Assembly leadership, no woman was mentioned. At least, in 2007, Patricia Etteh was nominated which she won. In 2007, Mullikat Akande was nominated though she lost but, this year not a woman was nominated in the election into any of the chambers’ leadership,” she said.


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