Nigeria @ 61: Queen Zainab Abiola Tasks Buhari on Women’s Affirmative Action

Nigeria @ 61: Queen Zainab Abiola Tasks Buhari on Women’s Affirmative Action

  • The Akasoba of Kalabari has hailed Nigerian women for participating in the country's independence struggle
  • To honour their memory, Queen Zainab Abiola has called for legislation on affirmative action in Nigeria
  • She specifically urged President Muhammadu Buhari to push for the legislation to ensure more inclusive participation of women in Nigeria's democracy

FCT, Abuja - The founder of Akasooba Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, ACPCR, and the Akasoba of Kalabari Kingdom, Rivers state, Queen Zainab Abiola has hailed Nigerian women for actively participating in the struggle for Nigerian independence.

Mrs Abiola made the remarks at an international luncheon for women groups in Abuja as part of the activities organized by the Centre to mark Nigeria’s 61st Anniversary.

Queen Zainab Abiola
Queen Zainab Abiola has been at the forefront of advocating for women's participation in governance. Photo credit: Dr.Clarence Jen
Source: Facebook

She said the likes of Late Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Queen Sambassa of Bonny, Mrs Margaret Ekpo, Queen Ida and the Duke-Africa Royal Women of Niger Delta had proved their mettle as foremost nationalists, who struggled for the emancipation of Nigeria.

Her words:

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“We are gathered here today to acknowledge the role some of our women played in the frontline of the struggle for Nigeria’s Independence.
“Even pre- Independence Queens like Queens Sambassa of Bonny, Amina of Zazzau, Daurama of Daura should not be forgotten or airbrushed out of history as they battled creditably as foremost nationalists who forfeited the comfort of their homes and palaces to champion the cause of Nigeria’s liberation from colonial rule.”

She recalled that as a delegate in the pre-independence constitutional conference, great women including villagers championed the social, economic and political emancipation of women.

She added:

“So many great Nigerian women were trailblazers who were very active and supportive in pre and post-independence struggle of Nigeria.”

She queried:

“Why is history lessons not being taught in Nigerian schools anymore?

“The Aba Women riots in 1929 opposing unfair treatment of women was a landmark in Nigeria’s political history.”

She said as a mark of honour for the Amazons, who fought for independence, there should be legislation on Affirmative Action to ensure that a reasonable percentage of all political offices is reserved for women.

She stated:

“In order to honour the Amazons of our pre and post-independence struggle, I call on President Buhari to push for legislation on affirmative action to ensure a more inclusive, more tangible participation of women in our nascent democracy.
“This should also be extended to cabinet positions in any government that will be elected henceforth in Nigeria.”

FG Announces Date for Independence Public Holiday

Meanwhile, the federal government has announced Friday, October 1, a work-free day to celebrate the 61st Independence anniversary.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the minister of interior, made the announcement in a statement released on Wednesday, September 29.

The minister used the opportunity to assure Nigerians of the government's commitment to addressing numerous challenges confronting the nation.


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