BY EZEIFE LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION
In the book ”Remaking Nigeria with Progressivism”, published in 1997, women have not been aggressive in their quest for increased participation in politics and governance. Sometimes I wonder whether women want to play greater role in politics and governance. But what is argued here is that it is in the interest of the nation that women should participate more in politics and governance.
The President of Ezeife Leadership Foundation, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, identified some superior qualities of women which should make their increased participation in politics and governance improve governance and the welfare of the governed. Under ”Progressivism and the Empowerment of Women”, the book assessed the differential magnitudes of suffering which may be experienced by various social groups (men, women, youths, girls, boys etc) from possible failures of government, like failure in diplomacy, which can lead to avoidable war, and concluded thus: ”Women, especially as mothers, bear the brunt of bad government. The corollary is that women should have the greatest vested interest in good government”. This really says that: ”Women have more at stake in governance”.
Other identified positive qualities of women include that, ”as a rule and on the average:
i). women are less corrupt than men, in public and private offices.
ii). women obey the rules and keep to the principles more than men, and
iii). even where materialism rules men and women alike, men plunder the treasury more devastatingly than women, because women, in general, have lower levels of material expectations than men – have less unbound materialism. Your house girl may steal some of your money to buy a cologne, soap or brassiere, your house boy wants your Mercedes Benz car and your house in the most expensive parts of the city”.
The positive qualities of women affect also international relations and peace because the milk of human kindness flows more in women than in men and it does not even respect national boundaries. Note ”the following statement by Chechnyan Women on the Russian/Chechnyan conflict ”we want this war to end immediately, we lose too many lives and this causes us great suffering. We also do not want Russians soldiers killed. They too have mothers who suffer like us!!!
Why raise this issue now? Because Nigeria has failed woefully – Nigeria has failed man and God. It has become imperative to re-make Nigeria. And in remaking Nigeria we need to exploit more of the positive qualities in women by involving them more in politics and governance. How did Nigeria fail God? Look at Nigeria, look at her size and location and the superabundance of resources and other favours endowed on her by God. Should the purpose of God for Nigeria, (Nigeria’s Manifest Destiny), not to be big brother and rallying point for all blacks. Is not God’s intention that Nigeria should develop into a Super Power among nations, so as to raise the respect and dignity of all blacks on earth, and ultimately to wipe the shame of slavery off the face of all blacks.
Is Nigeria heading in that direction? Not at all!! What is coming from Nigeria? Nigeria is generating shame to all blacks. God forbid!!! To change direction, we must! We must remake Nigeria!!
The focus on carting the contents of Nigeria treasury to foreign banks must now stop. All aspects of corruption which saturates every bit of the social structure must end. An oath must now be required of anyone who enters politics: to do so for service to the people, not to self.
Nigeria women, arise to clean up Nigeria politics for the good of your children born and unborn. As you work to achieve Nigeria’s Manifest Destiny, the Almighty God will energise you. Arise Mothers!! And Say No to Monumental Corruption – to any corruption at all!!! God who designed Nigeria for un-matched greatness will save Nigeria, and make His design prevail over man’s mess!!!
Electoral Empowerment of Women
(Free & Women Exclusive Constituencies)
Offices in government are either appointive or elective, that is, they are by appointment or by election. How do we increase the participation of women in politics and governance? Increases in the proportion of women in both appointive and elective offices are desirable. How do we increase the number of women who win in legislative elections? In addition to legislative offices filled by election, there are also executive, political offices filled by elections, namely, chairman and his deputy, governor and his deputy, president and deputy (vice). The legislative offices are, namely: councillors, members of the House of Assembly, members of the House of Representatives and Senators.
Women should be empowered in such a way that no man can be right in pointing at a woman and saying: ”She took my place”, or ”I should have been holding X office but for her”. If a chief executive office is reserved for a woman, a man can point at the office and say ”but for that woman I should have been chairman of Council, Governor of the State, or President of the country”. This does open violence to the democratic principles and should be avoided. Indeed, there is no way to democratically empower women for elective chief executive offices, because these offices are, one per constituency. The constituency of the executive head is one in the council area, one in State, and one in country.
This is not the case with legislative offices. The electoral empowerment of women, discussed here, is thus for legislative political offices, which are always more than one per constituency. Electoral empowerment of women is achieved by reserving a set of constituencies for women, making those constituencies exclusive to women. The other set of constituencies are called free. These free constituencies are for men and women to contest in. We can decide what minimum percentage of legislators should be women. If we want, at least one half, one quarter, or one third of the legislators to be women, we achieve these easily by reserving one half, one quarter, or one third of the constituencies for women. Since some women can contest in the free constituency with men, making one third of the constituencies exclusive to women guarantees women a minimum of one third of the positions. What they win from the free constituencies raise their percentage holding beyond that minimum.
For example each state has three Senatorial Zones. To ensure that a minimum of one third of senators are women, we make one senate constituency exclusive to women. To accord with the democratic principle, we divide the entire state into two free senatorial constituencies, and make the whole state, the one women exclusive senatorial constituency. The same principle can be applied to Council, House of Assembly, and House of Representative, constituencies. In some cases, rounding may be necessary, but this should pose no serious problems.
For appointive offices, some proportions can also be agreed but unless such proportions are made justiciable, the chief executive may not always comply! However the increased number of women in the legislature should, and can, flex enough muscles to lead to increase in the number of women appointed to executive offices.
Yours for Nigeria as a Super Power!
Okwadike, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife CON
Garkuwan Fika, Akintolugboye of Egbaland