Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), strongly condemns the recent action undertaken by President Goodluck Jonathan to sack nine (9) Ministers. CISLAC is shocked to find out that the major casualties in this maneuver are women. This appears to be hinged on the current crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),as four of the Ministers are from the States whose governors decamped from the PDP and two of the Minister were nominees of former President OlusegunObasanjo, who is said to be stoking the on-going brawl within the ruling party. In order words, the abysmal dismissal is highly political and women are victimized through this singular act as usual.
This act contradicts President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim to 32% affirmative action for women, since about 70% of the Ministers sacked are women. It will be recalled that 2011 elections produced even less women in government than ever under democratic dispensation and to balance this, President Jonathan used appointive position to make it up to the 32% which his political allies allude to as part of his political achievement. The action did not only negate Mr. President’s transformation agenda but also makes mockery of our country’s effort towards women empowerment,gender equality and inclusiveness in the national political arena.
So far, women are highly marginalized as a result of the patriarchal society Nigeria finds herself in and other factors such as misuse of tradition and religion, poverty, etc. The struggle for gender equality and inclusiveness in the political arena has by this singular act of Mr. President been thwarted.
CISLAC challenges the government on such biased dismissal of these women which is obviously not on the basis of their performance; though government has made it public that their dismissal is based on contrary performance, to also publicly explain to Nigerians in details why these Ministers were sacked in order to validate Mr. President’s claim of contrary performance.
Regrettably, this development is coming at the heels of the United Nations global Consultative meeting on Post 2015coming up soon;and at a time when the country is assessing our achievement on the MDGs following the benchmarkof 2015. This current sack therefore, compromises Nigeria in the sense that we are seemingly making a caricature of our developmental trajectory in the face of developed world.
CISLAC therefore calls on the President of the Federal Republic to fast-track the next Ministerial appointment so that the offices do not suffer major delays.
CISLAC further urges President, to ensure that more women are appointed during the next Ministerial appointment to uphold the 35% affirmative action.
Auwal I.Musa (Rafsanjani)