Muhammadu Buhari

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in the State House, Abuja, in his characteristic manner, jokingly said the seat of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was under threat.

The president cracked the joke when he received a group of female parliamentarians from the 36 states of the federation who had paid him a courtesy visit.

The female lawmakers had alleged that women were being marginalised in the nation’s scheme of political affairs, noting that in each of the two chambers of the National Assembly since 1999, there is usually only one principal officer at a time.

Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie, said Nigerian women henceforth, demand the emergence of women as vice-president from subsequent elections, beginning from 2019.

She also sought to extract the president’s commitment to the demand, stating that any commitment the president made right there “will become policy and subsequently law.” She insisted that “whenever the President is a man, the Vice President should be a woman.”

Ativie also demanded that in each of the three senatorial seats in each of the 36 states of the federation, a woman senator should always emerge from the next general election.

According to her, in the House of Representatives as well, “where there are nine House of Representatives members, the men should take six and leave three for women”.

Responding, Buhari in a humorous tone, said it was unfortunate that the Vice-President was not present at the meeting to witness the threat to his seat.

However, he added in the same humorous manner that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, would convey the women’s demand to him.

“It is a pity that the Vice-President is not here, but I am sure the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will brief him that his position is threatened,” Buhari said.

The President, however, expressed appreciation to women for the support they gave to him throughout the four times he ran for president’s office, recalling a report on how women usually queued up to vote for him during the periods.

On the submission that his commitment would easily become a policy and subsequently a law, the President said he was not “as powerful as you think” adding that such a request could only be treated by fiat by a military head of state.