The joint Nigeria International Election Observation Mission of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) at the presentation of its final report on the 2019 Nigerian elections, decried the low representation of women in elective positions. The groups noted that Nigeria has the lowest number of women (3%) elected to public offices in the entire sub-saharan African region.
The public presentation featured a panel discussion with Professor Remi Sonaiya, a former presidential candidate on the platform of KOWA party. Other panelists included the national chairman of People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim and Simon Karu, a newly elected House of reps member representing Kaltungo-Shongom constituency of Gombe state.
Remi Sonaiya also lamented that women were not only short changed in elective positions but also in appointive positions. On her part, the former lecturer said she now, more than ever, favour a legislation that would guarantee female representation in public offices.
“What it means is that we are denying ourselves the enrichment that these women can bring to the running of our affairs.”, she said.
Yusuf Ibrahim disagreed that a legislation on women participation will efficiently remedy low participation of women in political offices.
“Even if we have a special legislation for that, most of the things that such legislation would want to address would still be happening and more”, Mr Bashir Yusuf said.
He further said that the concentration should be more on capacity and competence.