Why this noise above the din about the inadequate inclusion of women in Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet? There are many women who would reject unearned rewards. My big cousin, Mrs. Omobola Onajide, the first female electronic journalist in Nigeria, is that type. She is an activist in her own right for universal franchise not because she is a woman. And she believes everybody must work for what they earn. That is why you would find her feature in a general cause as a front-liner, not as a suffragette. Now an octogenarian, history is on her side being a younger sister of well-known nationalists of blessed memory, Bankole Erhunse Akpata and Omotayo Osayande Akpata. And Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah appreciated that in the little girl then and encouraged it.
In the case of the present appointments to Buhari’s cabinet, I know she will opt for quality instead of quantity and also for earning what you are due, not for Beijing Accord.
Buhari is not known to be a womaniser, he is no beau, but it looks as if he has eyes for beautiful women, even from his private life. His late wife, who accompanied him to the Organisation of African Unity’s conference in Abidjan in 1984, was a paragon of beauty. Buhari was in suit at that conference and that lady was no pushover in her own right. Mrs. Aisha Buhari now is everything one requires in beauty and brains. So there could be no way Buhari would have stuffed his cabinet with women who look ordinary; like expired drugs. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think Buhari’s eyes are the type for quality bargain.
Sister Omobola hates to be used as a decoration in any circumstance. It is politics stupid to ask for one third of women representation in the management of a course of which they have no understanding?
I am conscious of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s fondness of Nollywood and President Olusegun Obasanjo’s love for Juju musicians. It was not surprising to find many expired drugs in Jonathan’s team, who thought like the “gutter type” in Balogun’s illegal market, traders in short and some “agarachas” in Obasanjo’s administration.
But those were different times and we are now under a different captain, facing hard times that require serious-minded elements.
Bini, Itsekiri and Efik women won’t raise a voice against Buhari’s selection. I also think Egba, Ijesha and Ibadan women will also concur. These are women with history and antecedents on their side because they have never been undermined by their people.
When Mrs. Daisey Danjumah was representing PDP in the Senate, her elder brother, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, was in the ditch with me in Buhari’s campaign team. He would come all the way from Benin to Abuja at his own cost for meetings, like every other of the general’s stalwarts. When Tony Momoh introduced him to me at Abuja in 2006, I reminded him of his grandfather, Chief Ighodaro Ehanire, the merchant who owned department stores and rode a chauffer-driven Chevrolet in the 1940s. That grandfather product of Hope Waddell – Training Institute, Calabar, was the father of the late Iyase of Benin, Justice Samuel 0. Ighidaro, the first minister of health in the history of Western Nigeria, with M.A (Oxon) LLB, BL. Osagie’s father, David, also a Benin chief, pioneered nightclub life there in the 1940s with his Rosy Bar, which became Moonlight Garden Club. It was a reigning club in Nigeria where orchestras like Bobby Benson’s Jam Session, E. T. Mensah’s Tempos Band, Eddy Quansah’s Stargazers and Congolese bands featured in the Mid- 1950s…