WOMEN in Ebonyi State, under the aegis of the Ebonyi Women Vanguard (EWV) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint women from the state into his next Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The EWV, which is the umbrella body of Ebonyi women in politics, professionals, entrepreneurs, as well as Ebonyi women in diaspora, bemoaned the exclusion of Ebonyi women in FEC and other federal executive appointments by successive governments.
The group’s National President, Mrs Immaculata Ibe, made the demand in a Saturday in statement in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
In the statement, she pleaded with President Buhari for the “inclusion of at least a woman of Ebonyi extraction in his up-coming cabinet.”
She explained that her appeal “is predicated on the long period of neglect and marginalisation suffered by Ebonyi women under successive administrations.
“While other states in the South-East zone have at various times produced women who were appointed into the federal cabinet and other executive positions, no Ebonyi woman has enjoyed this privilege since the creation of Ebonyi in 1996.
“We have remained marginalised, neglected and excluded in spite of our robust contributions in Nigerian politics and national development.
“For 20 years running, successive administrations in the country have neglected our women from appointment into major Federal establishments.”
According to her, the Ebonyi people consider it as “unfair and against the spirit of equity, fairness and good conscience in the distribution of political appointments in the country.”
She claimed that Ebonyi paraded illustrious women who had contributed tremendously in the socio-economic and political emancipation of Nigeria.
Mrs Ibe noted further: “A checklist of federal appointments of women from Abia, Anambra, Enugu, and Imo states into federal establishments reveals a stark illustration of how Ebonyi women have been marginalised since the advent of democracy in 1999.
“Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance is from Abia; Mrs Stella Odua, former Minister of Aviation, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Ex-Education minister and later Solid Minerals, Mrs Josephine Anenih of Women Affairs were all from Anambra.
“Anambra also produced the late Dr Dora Akuyeli, former Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and later appointed Minister of Information and National Orientation.
“In Imo, Mrs Viola Onwuliri and Mrs Kema Chikwe served as ministers at various times, while in Enugu, Mrs Fidelia Njeze and Mrs Alison-Madueke were appointed ministers of Aviation and petroleum. Mrs Chinwe Obaji, a former Minister of Education was also from Enugu.”
“Mr President, our appeal is predicated on the reality on ground of how our women who have the experience, capacity, intellectual accomplishments, and proven track-record of achievements in diverse areas of human endeavour remained unfairly treated.”
The women implored Buhari to resolve the injustice meted out to women in Ebonyi as he actualizes his Next Level agenda by considering at least one woman for a ministerial post in the next FEC.