Obasanjo believes Nigeria ripe to have female president

Obasanjo appealed for Nigerian women to be given a chance to lead the country.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advocated for Nigerian women to be given a shot at the presidency.

The former President made the plea while speaking at the 5th edition of the Egba Dialect Debate and Choral Competition for Secondary Schools in Ogun Central Senatorial held in Abeokuta on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

The event, themed ‘Nigeria is ripe for a female president,’ was organised by the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Dr. Lanre Tejuoso.

Elucidating the theme of the event, Obasanjo said Nigerian women have come of age and for that reason, deserved to be given a trial at the upper echelon.

The retired military general also opined that the country will experience stronger bonds and better development if power is shared and distributed equally between both genders.

Obasanjo said, “From my own view if we want the country to grow, we should consider both genders because a hand can’t carry a load to the head alone.

“You can do it as you want, but it should be done as it is supposed to be, we can gain experience from both genders, what’s the difference between the genders? Only that a female can get pregnant for nine months and a male can’t. That’s the only difference between us.

“As for me, there’s nothing preventing the female gender to be the president of our country.

In her remarks, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Naimot Salako-Oyedele, corroborated the former President’s position by reiterating the need to mainstream more females in Nigerian politics.

She said only a handful of women have been given an opportunity to occupy offices across the country, a situation that is also applicable to Ogun State.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and his Deputy, Naimot Salako-Oyedele. [Twitter:@davidlamide]

The Deputy Governor said, “We can’t give someone power, it has to be fought for, and we have to start bringing females into politics, even if it’s from the grassroots level so that they can gain enough experience to lead the country.

“If she can start from being a councillor and we see that she’s capable, then, she can move to the next level.

“In Ogun state, we have 236 councillors but only 18 are females, we have 20 Chairmen, only two are females among them, we have 26 seats in the House of Assembly, only two are females, house of representatives, we have nine, one is female, we have three senators, no female and we have the deputy governor who is also a female.”

Salako-Oyedele, who stood in for her principal, Governor Dapo Abiodun, at the event, applauded the promotion of the indigenous language, adding that the state is also not leaving any stone unturned to promote the Yoruba culture.

The Deputy Governor added that the state government is supporting the Yoruba cultural centre that is being proposed at the University of Ibadan, to boost the indigenous language.

She said, “We are very proud to be associated with this programme in Ogun state, the language is generally accepted as an expression of culture and it’s a window to people. This culture is very rich and we believe our children, through this type of programme will identify the richness of our culture.

“Many children don’t speak Yoruba not to talk of their dialect but with this kind of programme, it will bring interest into speaking Yoruba.

“We will support every individual who wants to promote the Yoruba culture. We as Ogun state are supporting the Yoruba cultural centre being proposed in the University of Ibadan, which is going to be a resource centre which is going to be accessible all over the world.”

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