Edo Women Leaders Laud Obaseki’s Commissioner Appointments

Godwin Obaseki

The Association of Women Leaders of Edo State has pledged their unyielding support to Governor Godwin Obaseki for his upliftment of women in his recently inaugurated cabinet.

The women disclosed this position during the conclusion of their annual three-day conference in Benin City with the theme ‘The Politics of Progress and Gender Inclusion’. They noted, with extreme delight, that even appointments made thereafter, such as the recently announced appointment of Solicitor-General to the state and State University Basic Education Board (SUBEB) chairman have been gender-balanced.

The keynote speaker at the conference, Pastor Edna Omame, in her presentation, decried the situation where women were used as assets for votes during electioneering and campaign season, but never integrated or included into the affairs of governance.

“Sometimes, it is almost as if they are telling us that we are unqualified, that we don’t have capacity. Look at the Federal Government. How many women are there? Meanwhile during campaign, you will see them running after our association, or our sister associations at market level. This is not sustainable.”

The Publicity Secretary of the group, Madam Dorothy Nosa-Uyigwe, echoed her sentiments and suggested that Edo women have become more enlightened and more empowered and there will be no going back on full participation of women in the governance of the state. She described the governor as God-sent at a time when Nigerian women are seeking liberation and advocated for more political leaders across Nigeria to emulate Obaseki.

She said: “Determined in his drive to create a state which gives the girl-child a voice, Governor Godwin Obaseki has continued to constitute his cabinet to reflect gender balance and equality.

“In a world where women have been subjects of several oppressive and discriminatory policies, governments especially in the developed crimes are changing the narratives and enacting laws that foster egalitarian coexistence among all genders. We thank our Governor and assure him of our unalloyed support now and in the future. He is our leader, and we appreciate him so much,” she concluded.

Of the Commissioners and Special Advisers so far appointed by the Obaseki administration, women make up about 48 per cent of the cabinet.
Also, Women in Medicine and Sciences Foundation, Edo State chapter, described as unprecedented, the gesture of immense goodwill extended to the womenfolk by Obaseki.

In a statement signed by the President of the Foundation, Mrs. Agnes Orobosa Igiebor, the group roundly applauded the governor’s appointment, highlighting the difference that seeing women in leadership positions would make in the lives of young girls and women across the state.

“There can be no stronger statement than this for the Edo women, young and old, to see that she is a valued member of society. That her dreams are valid. And that if she works hard and is honest and dedicated, she too can serve in leadership capacity in any institution across this entire country and the world in general.”

“We were hoping and praying that this time around, more women would be picked as commissioners. Even though we had doubts because of the intense political and downright patriarchal nature of our state. But we were pleasantly surprised to see the outcome. We only appeal now that in what he has started, he should do more”.

In their opinion, this has reinforced their support for the governor and his team, as this practical gesture of love and support for women is unprecedented in the annals of Edo history.

They urged the governor to ignore the political forces still bitter about the last elections to derail his efforts at transforming Edo. Rather, they urged him to use the antics of his detractors as inspiration to fast-track that advancement of the Edo nation and in the process, put the detractors to shame.

The group further urged all women across the state and in the diaspora to join hands with the newly appointed commissioners to uplift the cause of Edo women, to bring positive change to their respective community and to restore Edo women to their pride of place as builders of nations and immense contributors to the socio-economic development of the state and Nigeria in general.