Oduahgate:Women Storm NASS Tuesday In Protest Against ‘Injury To Affirmative Action!’



Stella-Oduah 600By Jim Pressman, Gender Reporter, Abuja
Nigerian women under the aegis of the National Council of Women Societies(NCWS) – Nigeria, affiliated to the International Council of Women Societies (ICWS), are set to storm the National Assembly Tuesday morning November 19, 2013 to protest what they call the systematic “pulling down of high-flying Nigerian women in governance.”
In an invitation to several media houses represented in the FCT, National President of NCWS Nigeria, Chief Mrs. Nkechi Udeariry Okemini Mba, who will lead the protest, said the programme is to include “a Road Walk from the NCWS Headquarters in Area11 Garki by 8a.m.which will take them all the way to the National Assembly.”
On arrival there, the women intend to express to Nigeria’s Representatives and Senators their growing concern about and their “saying no” to, the gradual reduction of the only 33 per cent Affirmative Action, under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
You would recall that another group recently drew attention to the trend while reacting to the recent sack of some female ministers and the outcry I the wake of the purchase of two BMW armoured cars allegedly on the orders of the Aviation Minister, another high-flying member of the President’s Cabinet.
No one knows whose turn it soon will be. Now it is Stella Oduah in the eye of the storm, and suddenly in the words of Group Captain [retd.] Patricia Okibedi at a Media Dialogue in Abuja Monday October 29 on the raging controversy over the Oduah matter, “her huge exploits in the aviation sector are being down-played; it is dangerous for our democracy and for the female specie. We should not throw away the bath water with the baby.”
Madam Okibedi was speaking in Abuja on behalf of a group she described as “men and women who are disturbed by the emerging trend of vicious attacks on female rising stars in our country.” She and her group, she said, wished to urge Nigerians to re-direct their collective energies to doing the right things and getting the right results for the prosperity of all.
While believing strongly in the great future of Nigeria, Okibedi and company said the heat currently being generated in the nation due to what she called “the selective anti-corruption drive which is not founded on concrete facts, is giving pain and concern to all of (them).”
The group believes that “an attack on rising female stars is an attack on rising female stars is an attack on President Goodluck Jonathan who has made history a staunch supporter of women empowerment and advancement,” and in the spirit of gender equity and justice, urged all lovers Nigeria to carefully study the allegations and find the best ways of tackling corruption which they agree has become endemic and cross-cutting in the country.
Among those gathered at the Media Dialogue on the issue at the Gambo Sawaba Block of the National Centre for Women Development Centre, were Women Rights activists Ene Ede of Equity Advocates, Constance Meju of National Point, Port Harcourt as well as ace economic reporter/analyst and former Managing Director of Financial Standard newspapers, Weneso Orogun, who challenged Nigerian reporters to deploy their investigative prowess to get to the bottom of this and other unclear matters in our polity and economy by talking to all the right sources home and abroad, before jumping into hasty conclusions which may turn out to be wrong.

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