JULY 14, 2020 By Precious David (9News Nigeria)
Immediate past Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, has condemned those kicking against President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Nimi Akinkugbe as the non-career ambassador nominee from Ondo State.
Akinkugbe’s nomination generated some furore because she is from Rivers State.
Some indigenes of Ondo State have argued that President Buhari shouldn’t have nominated her because of her state of origin. But Nimi, who is currently a non-Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank, is married to Yinka Akinkugbe from Ondo.
But the former Bayelsa State governor in an opinion article entitled ‘In Defence of The Nigerian Woman,’ argued that these kinds of sentiments are what have held Nigeria and the African continent “from achieving its true potentials.”
Dickson, who commended Buhari for the appointment, expressed dismay that ladies do not get the needed support when they are nominated in their states of origin.
He said, “I wish to commend President Buhari for the appointment of Mrs Nimi Akinkugbe as the ambassadorial nominee representing Ondo State, the state she is married to, the state of her husband and her children and the state she will spend the rest of her life in hopefully.
“I condemn the voices that have risen in opposition to her nomination, not on account of her competence, experience, capacity or character but only on the basis that she is parentally from Rivers State.
“Those who constantly oppose our daughters believe that whereas their children, grandchildren and descendants can be anything in those states, the women have to go ‘back to sender’ and cannot derive any benefit from the states of their husbands.
“We must all unite against this mind set and I am glad that the President nominated Mrs Akinkugbe and has ignored all opposition to her nomination, so far. I hope it remains so.
“Nigerian women leaders should organise themselves for positive change and these are the sort of issues in addition to several others they should tackle with our support.”
He added that the “primitive” mind set that women are “properties” was what had encouraged rape and other forms of violence against women.
Dickson said, “If highly educated, enlightened women known locally and around the world can suffer this discrimination in Nigeria, then one can imagine the daily discrimination, indignity and oppression that our women, who are not privileged, are subjected to in their rural communities across Nigeria and in the developing world.
“This is the reason why people in leadership must do more for girl child education and involvement and empowerment of women.”
The former Bayelsa governor further argued that opposition to appointments of females must be on the basis of superior qualification or competence.
“I consider it my duty and the duty of every well-meaning man and leader to take a public position on this issue and to also galvanise public opinion to stop this endless, meaningless and primitive discrimination against our own daughters, sisters, friends and mothers,” he added.
President Buhari has since asked the Senate to confirm Nimi’s nomination.