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Afe Babalola advocates 40% women representation in govt

The Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, on Thursday, canvassed constitutional amendment in favour of women to have 40 per cent representation in elective positions to engender development.

Babalola, while canvassing space higher than the Beijing declaration of 35 per cent affirmation, said the women folks had proven to be committed and dedicated to duty in achieving desired results in their respective careers, adding that contributions of women to society’s progress could not be overemphasized.

The ABUAD founder spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on Thursday during an event organised by the ABUAD Law Students’ Society to mark this year’s International Women’s Day in memory of the late mother of the founder, Chief Abigail Babalola.

He called on stakeholders to initiate the promises of amending the constitution to give more elective space for women, saying, “I suggest that the constitution be amended to ensure 40 per cent representation of women in the state Assembly, National Assembly and in government. With that, Nigeria will witness progress in their partnership.”

Babalola further said, “You know as much as I do that at all levels – local, state and federal, only men are voted in. Thus far, all the presidents in Nigeria have been men while all the governors too have been men.

“We have a few instances where women are deputy governors. Is it a sin to be a woman? Did God create them to be dominated by men? Certainly not.

“My suggestion is that women should acknowledge that nature does not make them inferior to men. Both have the right to rule this country. After all, women are not as susceptible to corruption as men.

“Women respect the law more than men. Put in positions of power, they are more committed and dependable. If you want an example, go to my university.

“I dare say that if women were at the helm of affairs in this country, we would have gotten another Goldam Myer or Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkell (former Chancellor of Germany) or Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia in Nigeria.”

The wife of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, in her lecture on the occasion, urged Nigerian leaders to create platforms for women to display their qualities, lamenting that women should not still be struggling for 35 per cent representation in governance.

The governor’s wife said, “In order to achieve accelerated growth in national development, men and women should always come together as partners in progress and cultivate a culture of inclusion through advocacy for equitable policies that could enhance the positive contribution of every individual towards the attainment of national goals and objectives.”

Oyebanji, who canvassed inclusion, said, “Every member of the society including both men and women should endeavour to champion inclusive language and be very mindful of derogatory language to avoid stereotypes or generalizations when referring to women folk”.

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