The member, representing Oluyole Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe said it is difficult to ignore the current low representation of women in Nigerian politics.
She raised her concerns at a one-day roundtable organized by a non-governmental organization, the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), in Lagos, on Friday.
The program had as its theme, “Role of parliamentarian in ensuring gender and social inclusion for growth and development.”
In her keynote address, Akande-Sadipe noted that Women occupy only a small percentage of seats in the National Assembly and state houses of assembly.
She further raised concerns about the decline in women’s representation, and the barriers faced by women in competitive politics in Nigeria.
Mrs. Akande-Sadipe, who is the only female Federal Lawmaker from Oyo State noted that the journey towards gender and social inclusion, is filled with challenges.
She persuaded the Federal, State and Local Governments to help confront deep-rooted cultural norms, discriminatory practices, and biases that hinder progress towards a fairer society.
Hon. Akande-Sadipe said as a parliamentarian, she has a profound responsibility to represent and advocate for the diverse needs and aspirations of her constituents, including women.
“We must also acknowledge that achieving gender and social inclusion requires an intersectional approach that recognizes and addresses the interconnected systems of disadvantage faced by women of different backgrounds”, she said.
Speaking further at the symposium organized in conjunction with the Canadian government and United Nations, Mrs. Akande-Sadipe said in the National Assembly, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives, women occupy only a small percentage of seats.
“In the Senate, women hold 3 percent of the seats, 3 seats, and in the House of Representatives, they hold 4 percent of the seats, 15 seats. This decline in women’s representation is disturbing and highlights the challenges and barriers faced by women in competitive politics in Nigeria. This means policies or issues regarding women could be easily swept under the carpet”, she revealed.
She also stated: “The situation is not much different in the state House of Assembly. Out of the 1,019 females who contested in the 2023 state houses of assembly elections, only 48 women won, representing a success rate of 4.7 percent. This number increased slightly compared to the 2019 election but is still far from achieving proper representation. The 2023 elections saw a total of 1,553 women contesting various positions, including presidential, gubernatorial, and legislative seats. However, only 72 women were elected at the federal and state levels, representing a low percentage of elected women candidates. We would agree that both figures are low, and women currently represent less than 10% of the key positions in Nigeria politics. Hence the need to activate our superhero spirit”.
To enhance women’s representation in politics, Akande-Sadipe advocates that all hands must be on deck, urging women to take concrete steps to overcome these gaps, fill in the numbers, and ensure that they have equal opportunities to participate and lead in the country’s decision-making structures.
By doing so, she said Nigeria can tap into the potential of its female population and foster more inclusive and effective governance.
“We must be resolute in identifying and dismantling the structural barriers that hinder women’s political participation. As lawmakers, tackling discriminatory laws and practices and challenging traditional gender norms that limit women’s roles in public life should be integrated into our core objectives”.
“Our women policymakers should be equipped with legislative ninja moves and public speaking magic, ready to conquer any challenge that comes their way”, she added.
She further appealed to Government and decision makers to encourage female representation in decision-making bodies.
Akande-Sadipe said this will enhance women’s leadership, political participation, and representation in governance.
“To achieve true gender equality and social inclusion, we must actively work towards enhancing women’s leadership roles in politics and governance”.
She posited that Nigeria could take a cue from fellow African country, Rwanda, who possibly has one of the highest percentages of women in parliament globally. The country’s policies on gender-based violence, land rights, and education reflect a strong commitment to women’s empowerment.
She thanked the organizers of the gathering, saying it reflects the collective commitment of women to advance their political empowerment in Nigeria.
She concluded that to achieve a more equitable and just society, gender and social inclusion must be prioritized.
“When we empower women and promote their active participation in politics, we unlock the potential of half our population, leading to sustainable growth and development”, she ended.
Osun State Government Palliative Buses Commence Operation
Osun State government has unveiled commuter buses to cushion the effect of subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as Petrol or Fuel.
At the unveiling of the buses on Monday, the Executive Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke said passengers would be required to pay some tokens while boarding the buses to help run and maintain the vehicles.
Nigeria Updates understands that the buses are expected to convey civil servants, students, and other state residents along some selected routes.
Governor Adeleke, who was ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Kola Adewusi, noted during the official unveiling of the buses in Osogbo on Monday that the buses would work between 6:45 am and 9 am for the morning shift, while those on the afternoon shift would work from 3 pm to 5 pm, from Monday to Friday.
“I assure residents of the state that their welfare remains paramount to the present administration. The administration will continue to embark on programmes and policies that will put smiles on the faces of the residents.
“I commend civil servants for their resilience and commitment to their duties despite the harsh economic realities. I assure them that this government will always prioritise their welfare,” the Daily Post quoted the Osun state governor saying.
Earlier in his remark at the unveiling of the buses, the state Commissioner for Transportation, Sesan Oyedele, assured residents of the state of more buses in the coming days. He described the Adeleke government as a workers’ friendly one.
“Passengers will be charged a token fee on each drop for the running and maintenance of the buses,” Oyedele added.
“The routes for the five buses in Osogbo are as follows: Dada Estate-Capital-Okefia-Olaiya and terminate at Abere (Secretariat). The second bus will ply Stadium Roundabout-Ayetoro-Old Garage-Olaiya and terminate at Abere (Secretariat).
“The third bus will convey passengers from Oja Oba-Isale-Osun-Odi Olowo-Olaiya and terminate at Abere (Secretariat).
“The fourth bus is scheduled to take off at Owode Ede-Abere-Ogo Oluwa-Olaiya and terminate at Old Garage, and the fifth bus will commence movement from Okinni-LAMECO-Dele-Yes Sir-East Bye Pass and terminate at Abere (Secretariat),” the government announced.
Police To Probe Officials At Imo, Bayelsa, Kogi Elections
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has directed an investigation into the conduct of officials of the police force deployed to serve in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states at the just concluded governorship elections.
Egbetokun ordered the investigation due to increased allegations of violence and electoral malpractice levelled by opposition against the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders of the just-concluded governorship polls.
A statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, detailed that, “In another development, however, the IGP notes, with concern, pockets of incidences that occurred during the elections and charged the Electoral Offences Desk Officers, under the supervision of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, to commence immediate investigations into these incidences.”
However, against the allegations of malpractice, the Police boss further said that “the electoral process in the three states transpired seamlessly, defying earlier threat assessment and projected challenges from various quarters. He acknowledges the exceptional efforts of the security personnel in maintaining law and order, safeguarding the electoral process, and ensuring the safety of citizens.”
Nigeria Updates recalls that while Civil Society Organisations commended the security agencies for their conduct at the off-cycle elections that took place over the weekend, they faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for failing to solidify the faith of Nigerians in the country’s electoral process with its conduct at the off-cycle elections.
Kano State Government Screens Out Applicants For Mass Wedding
The Kano State government has screened out intending couples for the mass wedding scheduled to be held soon who tested positive for Hepatitis B, HIV, sickle cell and pregnancy.
Lawan Fagge, the spokesperson of Hisbah Board, said the persons were found with one health issue or the other at the point of pre-marital test screening they were subjected to as part of the conditions for taking part in the state-sponsored wedding.
Fagge said the affected spouses have since been replaced in the ongoing exercise and subjected to counselling and medications.
According to him, “Based on the interim report we got from the Ministry of Health, about 40 males and females tested positive for Hepatitis B. There are those with sickle cell those who are pregnant and those with HIV. But they will be counselled and placed on medication for the next few months. They have been rejected from the exercise and made replacements. They might be considered after their medication.
“We screened about 5,000 out of which we only needed 1,800 couples,” Fagge said.
Recall that the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP-led government under Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has earmarked the sum of N854 million to conduct mass weddings for the over 1,800 couples in the state. The mass wedding was first introduced in the state by the Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso-led administration.”
According to SaharaReporters report, the Kano State Hisbah Board said over 4000 prospective couples registered to participate in the state-planned mass wedding.
The board had added that it had succeeded in selecting 1,800 couples and they were already being scheduled for medical screening as part of the prerequisite arrangement of the mass wedding proceedings.
It would be recalled that the administration of the state government headed by Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf earmarked over N800 million for mass weddings to procure furniture, food items, and clothing materials, dowry, and capital for 1,800 intending couples under its mass wedding scheme.
Many prospective couples expressed gratitude to the Kano State governor for providing the opportunity for them to get married in their lifetime.
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