Nigeria needs more women leaders, would any woman do?

Goes without saying that Nigeria and indeed the world need more women leaders. Not just any woman in my opinion as the whole reason for the movement will be distorted. In Nigeria today we have loads of organisations working really hard empowering women and girls to take leadership roles. Very inspiring.

I remember President Jonathan Goodluck being praised for having 13 female minsters in his cabinet at one point, among them was the former Aviation Minister Stella Oduah who spent  $1.5m (£1m) on two bullet-proof luxury cars because Nigerians were a clan of hyenas that one must be protected from. Prior to being fired, she was/still is a close ally to our president. And of course to do all of the above, you must have a doctorate so Stella did exactly what many Nigeria politicians know how – bought it

Another interesting woman in public eye is the Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke. This woman is smart and earned her degrees from traceable schools. She was the first woman to hold many top offices in Nigeria, from first female Minister of Transportation to her current role. Being a woman she appeals to many Nigerian women only that in terms of corrupt public offices, she tops the chart. She has been probed for mismanagement of public funds more than once – for awarding $268 million to imaginary contractors and another 1.2 billion into her personal account in 2009 – she was never charged for any of these.  The most recent one earlier this year was the talks about how having a private jet is important to Mrs Diezani’s job for urgent meetings within the country and around the globe, really?

Mid last year a friend invited me to a conference hosted by National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), I was excited and even offered to volunteer at the event. Madam Patience Goodluck, or should I say Dr – South Korean university honoured our First Lady with a doctorate last year on humanitarian and something about cyber (?) ground – God help me! This is the same woman who summoned the mourning Chibok girls’ parent to interrogation just few months after this award.

I digress, apologies.

So looking at notes from the previous events done in the fall of 2012 by the same group of women in Chicago, all that I could see was their outfits and shining gold bling bling. I thought, that’s okay, then looking at the program, the whole of the third day was going to be for award presentations led by Dr Madam Patience Goodluck (they’d die for titles) then I felt really deflated. Award presentation for whom? Why awards?

The whole event was supposed to be about gender inequality in the way land inheritance is distributed in Nigeria with emphasis on SE. This is a good cause. However, the program prompted so many questions  – this event is meant for Nigeria women, why is it being held in London, UK – spending so much money on the most expensive hotel the city has on offer because Madam Patience is involved?

This was the first time I really paid attention to the First Lady. This woman is such a joke, why would she think this is a good idea? I understand that some issues are sensitive and may be good idea taking off shore for open discussions but on gender inequality about land inheritance?

Of course, I missed out on that conference, good for everyone that attended.

We do need many women in public offices, but is it enough just to have them there when they are not representing us (women) the right way? Should we be mute about all they did wrong in the name of supporting gender equality in public offices?

Not that I think Nigeria has a shot at being part of G20 in 2025 but I liked the reasoning of the group for wanting to tackle gender inequality among the representing nations.