Our democracy is alive but not healthy – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday in Abuja, called for the participation of more women in politics to ensure sustainable democracy in the country.
Obasanjo made the call while presenting a paper titled, “Nigeria Democracy and the Journey so far: The role of women,’’ at the 70th Birthday celebration of Mrs Josephine Anenih, Former Minister of Women Affairs.
He said that democracy was the best form of government that suits Nigeria because it promotes unity, adding that the country’s democracy is alive but not healthy.
“Democracy is a system of government that allows team spirit and debate before decisions are reached; it is a government for all citizens to benefit without fear or favour.
“The health of our democracy can be judged by the participation of women; the low number of women in National Assembly is unacceptable and makes mockery of gender balance.
“Our Constitution should be amended to allow 40 per cent of women participation in politics; it is about time that women should feature in all aspect of our democratic process and practice,’’ Obasanjo said.
The former president who congratulated Anenih on her birthday said she was a woman worth celebrating and thanked God for the blessings bestowed on her and her family.
Also, Prof Remi Shonaiya, 2015 Presidential Candidate of Kowa party, felicitated with the celebrator and called for the socialisation of more women into leadership positions.
Shonaiya said that there was urgent need to recognise the importance of educating girls and boys to see themselves as equal participants in nation building.
She added that men should support women in their political ambition because both gender have to unite to achieve development.
The celebrator, who was filled with emotion, thanked the organisers of the occasion and the entire guest for their kind gesture and show of love.
She also urged women to stand up and fight for their rights as equal partners in nation building adding that leadership would not be given to women on a platter.
Anenih added that women owed it to themselves as a duty to get it right in the political and leadership arena.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other dignitaries at the event were, Sule Lamido, Former Governor of Jigawa state, Mr Peter Obi, Former Governor of Anambra state, Mr Musa Elayo, Former minister of State for Justice among others.
High-point of the occasion was the launch of a book in honour of the celebrator titled, “Celebrating an Extraordinary Amazon at 70.’’