Legendary Musician, Onyeka Onwenu Lauds Governor AbdulRazaq’s Ingenuity On Nigeria Women

International music icon, Onyeka Onwenu has commended the Governor of Kwara State, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on his ingenious ways of making women force to reckon with in not only Kwara but Nigerian politics.

Speaking at the fourth annual conference of Nigeria Governors’ Spouses’ Forum, Onyeka Onwenu specifically thanked the Governor for his efforts on gender equality.

The award-winning female star, however, advised Nigerian men to tow the path of the Governor as he has mainstreamed gender inclusion in political leadership.

It would be recalled that in October this year, at the 7th Voice of Women (VOW) Conference and Awards in Abuja, the governor won a Lifetime Achievement Award for his transformational gender inclusion policy in the state.

Governor AbdulRazaq received a plaque specifically honouring his historic inclusion of an unprecedentedly high number of women in key leadership positions, including having the highest number of women in cabinet in the history of Nigeria.

Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, Namibian Deputy Finance Minister, said at the event that she is humbled by how much “the Governor of Kwara State has deployed the goodwill of his office to support women empowerment”.

In his remarks at the conference, Governor AbdulRazaq acknowledged the commitments of the NGSF to vigorously tackle gender-based violence and other unhealthy practices.

“The Forum has over the years played key roles in helping to drive a new national narrative around the issues of gender-based violence, gender parity, and women and girl-child empowerment.

“The successes of the previous conferences are glaring enough in the strength of their excellencies’ advocacies and the impressive outcomes so far. Notwithstanding the achievements of the past years, we are excited by the theme of this year’s conference — Youth Allies: Bridging Generations to End Violence. The theme officially brings into this discussion the most important and outspoken cohort that holds the key to many breakthroughs in our efforts to build a sustainable and safe society.

“The interesting thing is that this important demography is entirely a digital community. Variously called digital natives or virtual natives, depending on the years of their births, these cohorts have their peculiar cultures and preferences, including their preferred medium of learning and socialisation.

“I pledged our continued support at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) for the important task of not just ending all gender-based violence but also ensuring a society that is fair and just. Together, we must work for an equitable society.

“On behalf of my brothers and colleagues at the NGF, I congratulate their excellencies on the fourth annual conference,” the Governor said.

In 2019, the Governor appointed a cabinet that had 56.25% female, apart from keeping some 50% slots for women permanent secretaries. He currently has a 50% female cabinet, including young commissioners.

He has also introduced legislation that mandates Kwara to have at least 35% gender parity in appointive political offices, including in the state bureaucracy.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Nigeria’s north-central Kwara State has gone down in history as the first African leader with the highest number of female cabinet members and political appointees.

Fafoluyi Olayinka
Senior Special Assistant, New Media to the Governor
December 5, 2023

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