Let me welcome you to the year 2022. I am sure you took off on the right footing.
The year 2022 will usher us into 2023,Nigeria’s presidential election year. You will agree with me that Nigeria has made tremendous progress right from independence, whether positive or negative will be a function of who is speaking.
Of all the years of progress under both the military and democratic leaders, it has been an all males affair. Don’t get me wrong though, as the female folk, even if only a handful of them.
Interestingly, more than 80 per cent of these women gave a good account of themselves, I turn my eyes away from those who failed us.
There has been murmurs of how cool or good a female president will be for Nigeria in 2023. It was these murmurs that inspired my letter this early in the new year as Omicron has limited my adventures in Lagos and environs.
Trust me, I jumped on the convo immediately and went ahead to ask my cronies. Some agreed it was cool and a few others felt it was an abomination.
So I went into history to check African women leaders and their exceptional feats.
Take a moment to check out these women, our mothers who history often downplay, Queen Amina, Moremi, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, Alimotu Pelewura, Mama Aduni, Ladi Kwali, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta, Mabel Segun, Nana Asma’u, and a host of many others through Nigerian history, you will understand the need to have a rethink on the role of women in leadership.
If you bring your thoughts to the present times, we have a few names that we can also refer to; Madam Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala readily comes to mind, or Mrs. Dora Akunyili of blessed memories and too many others who are doing wonders in corporate governance and the cut across sectors both in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
When I checked women who have openly declared their interest in the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria; only two names come up, why this is so, i have no idea.
Patience Ndidi Key, a Healthcare Professional, Chief Executive Officer P-KEY Health.
Khadijah Okunnu-Lamidi, founder and chief executive officer of Slice Media Solutions.
I hope to say more about these women in the coming days as this letter is not primarily about them but our need to state to look beyond gender in electing political office holders.
I have been opportuned to work with women in the past and I say that leadership knows no gender.
Will I vote for a sister to rule my country? I might based on indices, same as I would a brother.
Just as I was thinking of dropping my pen, my mind went to another African leader, the first female democratically elected president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia. She is another great example of women leaders. Throughout history, African women have proven their worth, let’s give them another chance.
I am looking forward to see more women join the race and hopefully, we might get the chance to change the fortunes of our country.
Remember to make someone smile today through your acts of kindness.