GOVERNOR UGWUANYI, AFFIRMATIVE PRINCIPLES AND THE REST OF US :

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Following the successful hosting of the 4th global women’s conference held in the Chinese capital of Beijing in 1995, otherwise known as the Beijing conference which sought to draw global attention to the plight of the women folks vis avis her recognition and acceptance in the socio-economic, cultural and political growth of the society. It is still a wide held notion that ours is still a chauvinistic and male dominated society and the male folks have never failed to rub these chauvinistic tendencies in the face of the women.

The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries including Nigeria, was an agenda for women’s empowerment and considered the key global policy document on gender equality. It has set strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern such as:

Women and poverty
Education and training of women
Women and health
Violence against women
Women and armed conflict
Women and the economy
Women in power and decision-making
Institutional mechanism for the advancement of women
Human rights of women
Women and the media
Women and the environment
The girl-child
The Beijing conference in effect built on the political agreements reached at the three previous global conferences on women, and consolidated five decades of legal advances aimed at securing the equality of women with men in law and in practice.

Although, the aim of this write up is not to dwell in the main, on the issues surrounding the Beijing conference or the previous ones before it for that matter but to determine to what extent government at all levels has accepted or worked conscientiously towards the realization of the strategic objectives as contained in the conference.

It is important to stress that among the long list in the strategic objectives of the critical areas, one area which seemed to have dwarfed others in priority remained the no seven ( Women in power and decision-making). This has equally came to be known as the “Affirmative Action” It has therefore remained very dear to the chest of the elite women so much so that they never failed to drum up this campaign and to the subconscious of the political class.

Since the return of the democratic dispensation in 1999, the women have shouted and have continued to do so, that they were created equal with their male counterparts. Therefore, the least expected from the seemingly male dominated society is to accord women equal opportunity in governance at all levels. The women had therefore demanded at least 35% of women in government.

Although, successive governments at the centre since 1999 have had an average buy in, in the appointment of women in critical positions and political parties have equally had a handful of women having a go at elective positions.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, Enugu state could be considered as having a low buy in the issues of ‘Affirmative Action ‘. In a research conducted by Uramah Ngozi Theresa Mirian (PG/Msc/10/57823) “Women empowerment in Enugu state :A study of political representation since 1999…
Mrs. Adamaka Nwozor, the Executive Director of Ada Grace Centre, a non-governmental
organization based in Enugu State has these to say…
“I am happy about the women involvement in the Enugu state
government but not satisfied with number of women who are
holding political offices in Enugu State today because involvement
of more women will create an environment of acceptance for
women. In the local areas especially, we don’t have good
representation of women occupying chairmanship and
councillorship positions. You see, men may not believe this, but
women are better representatives of the communities”.

Mr. Fulfilment, the only known Gburu-Gburu of Enugu state having stepped in as the Executive Governor in 2015 and in seeming agreement with the above assertion of Mrs. Nwozor not only worked conscientiously to bring in more women but made it a cardinal part of state policy.

Today, Enugu state is among the few states in the country with a female Deputy Governor in the person of Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo. At the last check, a total of five females are in full cabinet position. They are, Hon. Peace Nnaji, Mrs. Adaonah Kene Uyanwune, Mrs. Mabel Agbo, Mrs. Olangwa N. Nzekwu and Engr. Mrs. Maryrose Obiageli Abba Including Rt.Hon.Mrs. Jane Eneh (chief whip of Enugu state House of Assembly) and hosts of other Advisers and Special Assistants e.t.c.

Following the death of the late Emeka Ugwueze of Isiuzo State Constituency earlier in 2020, the affable Governor threw his benevolent weight around the wife of the late legislator, Mrs. Catherine Amaka Ugwueze to emerge as the candidate and replacor of the legislator in a scheduled bye election which held last week Saturday, the 5th of December 2020 in a sheer display of equity and gender sensitivity.

And to borrow the refrain of our Governor, the bye election which was adjudged peaceful and rancour free ended “In Praise”
With Gburu-Gburu who seem to have mastered the philosophical saying…
“I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”. Enugu state is truly in the hands of God.

BIBIAN ANEKWE NEWS ADDED” TRUE LEADERS ARE LIFE GIVERS, HOPE GIVERS, NATION BUILDERS AND FULFILLERS OF DREAMS. HIS EXCELLENCY GOV IFEANYI UGWUANYI( MR FULFILMENT ) THANKS YOU FOR BEING TRUE…

Written by

Okechukwu Chijioke
Member of Enugu di n’aka Chukwu movement
A PR practitioner based in Abuja

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