The concern of JDPMC on the Growing Marginalization of Women and Degeneration of Participatory Democracy in the Governance of Osun State.
The Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre has been actively engaging state and non-state actors as well as the citizens of Osun state on the way out of degenerative acts of marginalization and exclusion of women in governance and participatory democracy in Osun state. We hereby express our deeper concern about the new development today, which rather indicates a worsening situation in spite of the multi-stakeholders’ efforts to chart a way forward for the state. The concern is as a result of the recent list of Commissioners and Special Advisers’ nominees released by the State government and announced through the Speaker of the House.
In collaboration with local and international partners, JDPMC along with other Civil Society Organizations, the media and numerous groups and concerned citizens have actively and tirelessly engaged the political leadership in the state to map out strategies towards a political reengineering of participatory democracy that reflects a steady increase in the inclusion of women in governance in Osun State with a vision beyond the 35% Affirmative Action. Sadly, as the team of JDPMC analyzed the lists submitted to the State House of Assembly, it is discovered that women make up only 8% (2 women out of 25). This is not only unreasonably below the 35% Affirmative Actions for women inclusion governance, but it also clearly indicates a sharp drop in the percentage of women inclusion in the history of Osun State within the last 8 years.
It should be recalled that at least, Osun State was close to halfway to achieving the 35% affirmative action for women. Between 2014 and 2018, the state government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had 38 executive members comprising 22 commissioners and 16 special assistants, 6 out of these 38 were women making up 15% of his cabinet. During the immediate past administration led by Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, 5 out of the 35 commissioners and Special Advisers, were women making 14% of the women in his cabinet reflecting a 1% drop. In the immediate past 7th Assembly of the State legislature, 2 out of 26 members were women. In the current 8th Assembly of the State, there is no woman as a member of the House out of the 26 members in the State’s legislative arm of government. This constitutes Osun State as the only State in the entire Southwest Nigeria to reflect such degenerative development in terms of women’s inclusion.
JDPMC considers this development to stand contrary to the Osun Women Policy Agenda that was developed by Osun Women and stakeholders championed by JDPMC and which was signed by His Excellency, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke on the 2nd of July, 2022 at his country home, Ede ahead of the July 16, 2022 governorship. He strengthened the pact with words of promise to personally champion the implementation of the 35% affirmative action in the appointive positions in Osun State. This pact which was widely circulated and reflected in several political conversations ahead of the election is significant to the massive support of women that Senator Ademola Adeleke enjoyed during the election.
We, therefore, urge the government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke urgently re-address the situation in keeping with his promise and as well as ensuring that his government’s decision reflects the evolutional progress of inclusive participatory democracy in Osun State.
JDPMC retains its sole vision of working neutrally with all people of goodwill for the emergence of a developed, just, peaceful and stable society that creates the right atmosphere for all peoples to actualize their potential, in the promotion of shared common humanity
Long live Osun State.
Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi
Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre, Osogbo.