Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said it was time Nigeria has the first elected female governor to pilot the affairs of a state in the country.
Obasanjo spoke at the book presentation of “Nigerian Women Pioneers and Icons” written by Prof. Bolanle Awe, the first female lecturer in Nigeria, held at the MUSON Centre on Lagos Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The former president said the world is witnessing a time where women were taken over the mantle of leadership in several parts of the world, saying that Nigeria should not be an exception.
He cited the example of Britain where a woman had just assumed the mantle of leadership at the topmost hierarchy, while being optimistic that the United States was about to witness the emergency of a female president for the first in the person of Hilary Clinton.
Obasanjo stated that the book, which chronicled the life and achievement of 33 women in their various professions in the country, would definitely inspire the female folk to do exploit in a male-dominated nation like Nigeria.
“This is the time for women to reap the labour of these great women of the past,” he said, adding that women in Nigeria were doing extremely well and should be allowed greater involvement in the affairs of the nation.
Obasanjo, who was represented by Dr. Femi Majekodunmi said apart from physical strength which men excelled the women, the female folks were seriously competing with men in other areas and that he believed that it was time the nation produced elected governors.
“Women are patient, women persevered; they are now in many areas. Soon, we will be having elected women governors in Nigeria and soon, women will take over,” he said.
Deputy Governor of Osun State, Grace Laoye-Tomori said many of the women chronicled in the book had done exploit in their chosen field and could be likened to what Hilary Clinton was doing in the United States.
“This book should serve as reference point to our young girls. They have no reason not to do better than these women. This book must be in the school libraries an all state governments should have it,” she said.
The book publisher, Tokunbo Ajasin said after research was carried out, about 60 women were enlisted which were later pruned to 30, adding that the book would be published in phases, as the one being launched was the first volume, adding that other women not captured in the first volume would be captured in the second volume.
Author of the book, Prof. Awe stated that the fact that women were human beings, they deserved to be treated with respect and recognized by their male counterpart in Nigeria.
According to her, the word ‘gender’ connotes neutrality, meaning that both men and women were equal, adding that the time had come for women to be at the forefront of governance in the nation.
She hoped that the book should be taken to schools for the girl child and others to read and be inspired about the exploit done by women in the past and be encouraged to do more.