By Hon. Mrs. Omotayo Adeleye Ishaya
Over the years, the role of women in the family, society and the nation at large cannot be over emphasized.
Scholars all over the world have identified the involvement of women in the governance of any country as panacea to national peace and development.
Women make up about 50% of Nigeria’s population of over 120 million people, yet their positions are still weak when compared with their male counterparts.
The emergence of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the fourth Executive Governor of Kogi State on January 26th 2016 no double can best be described as an act of God and a step in the right direction.
One of his maiden appointments is that of a Female Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Dr. Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade who has also been reappointed in the second administration of Governor Bello popularly known as “White Lion.”
Immediately after the appointment, the Governor also appointed women as Commissioners as well as heads of Departments and Agencies of Government just to mention but a few.
In the same vein, the present Kogi State Head of Service, Mrs. Deborah Ogunmola is one of the female appointees of the New Direction Administration.
This was seen by the female folks as the coming of the most gender friendly Governor in the history of Kogi State.
As if that was not enough, upon the appointment of the immediate past Oddly to the Governor as the Oddly to the Wife of the President, His Excellency engaged the service of a female Oddly who is serving him till date.
During a live programme Channels Television recently, Governor Yahaya Bello told the whole world that all Vice Chairmen in the just concluded Local Government elections will be women.
Similarly, during a stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Glass House, Government House Lokoja, the Governor announced that 5 slots of the Councillorship election under the platform of APC should be women.
Governor Bello also stated that Council Leaders in the whole twenty one Local Government Area of the state will be women.
Though the council polls have come and gone, the emergence of women as Vice Chairmen is historic in the history of Nigeria’s democratic system and Kogi State in particular.
With this laudable gesture of actively engaging women in Governance at the State and Local Government levels, the Governor has effectively demonstrated that he has all it takes to rule Nigeria.
Governor Yahaya Bello must be commended for engaging women in Kogi political space and this no doubt has changed the politics in the state and this move will endear the female folks to the Governor.
While congratulating the newly elected Vice Chairperson of various Local Governments in the State, I urge them to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them by the Governor and indeed the people.
This can be done by replicating the ideals of Governor Yahaya Bello at the grassroots by providing dividends of democracy to the people.
When this is done, the women would have shown the entire world that we have the capacity to rule Nigeria any day, any time.