Despite the increasing demand for equality in gender representation in the Nigerian government, Nigerians have shown unpleasant interest in women playing pivotal roles in governance.
This was illustrated when many Nigerians online expressed their opinions on the number of women President Muhammadu Buhari should include in his yet-to-be-constituted cabinet.
SaharaReporters, in its online polls, asked Nigerians, home and abroad, how many competent women they would want the president to include in his next cabinet.
The polls had – regarding the number of women that should populate Buhari’s now elusive cabinet – ‘5-10’; ‘10-15’ and ‘half of the cabinet’ as options for Nigerians to pick from.
Three hundred thousand, eight hundred and nineteen social media users participated in the poll on Twitter with 1,489 voters accruing to 39% voted in support of ‘5-10’ women.
However, 1,375 voters – 36% – voted for halfway membership of women; and 25%, 955 Twitter users voted for ‘10-15’ membership of women in President Buhari’s cabinet.
It, however, appeared that the Nigerians who voted based their votes on the assertion made by Buhari, among others.
It would be recalled that in 2016, President Buhari had responded to a question, during an interview while he was attending an international summit, that his wife belonged to the kitchen, living room, and ‘the other room’ when she questioned his leadership style.
The response had portrayed the president as a narrow-minded man. If President had been famous prior to that time he made the unguarded statement, he became even more infamous than during his dictatorship after making the statement as responses to the polls showed.
Among the commenters was @chineduodira, who said: “Don't bother, Buhari does not believe in women working outside the kitchen and za'oza room...”
@Drahmii wondered? “And why is there no ‘none’ in the options?”
@Habibu_paki clearly exclaimed: “No more women please!”
But @dayodipe was comical about the topical issue saying: “Omo, see grammar! Which "cabinets"? Che na kitchen cabinet abi wardrobe?”
@AlanLawal simply said, “Woman will spoil everything” with @chrisenerho claiming: “Women are more corrupt than men in Nigerian politics.”
Looking at the issue from a religious point of view, @AAguigwo asked: “Isn't it against Islam to put women in leadership positions? Don't they belong to the other room?”
On SaharaReporters’ Facebook page, 4,800 users participated in the poll but more voted for less appointment of women by President Buhari in his much-awaited cabinet.
Two thousand, six hundred and fifty amounting to 56% want ‘5-10’ women as ministers while 2,150, which is 44% of the voters opted for ‘10-15’ women in President Buhari’s cabinet.
Giving reasons for their votes, some Nigerians said women should be overlooked as those who had held such positions in the past did not perform up to expectations.
Benedict A Erojie said: “Wrong questions it should be how many women do want in the other room which is Aso rock villa kitchens.”
He was not alone as Dapo Abu added: “The men in his cabinet all behaved like idiots who are serving their father instead of working for Nigeria. I’m afraid that even the women may be appointed and they start fearing Buhari as a lord.”
Diamond Stanley Okechi explained it this way: “Ur President do not value women, he believed they belong to the other room.”
In addition, Monday Ugbo said: “Needless of all the women that were there in the last four years, only former Minister of Finance made an impact, others were simply, 'Yes, I do!'.”
Rujiano Delano Deco, however, noted: “The GEJ-led administration gave a lot of women the chance to prove themselves and many among them performed poorly except for few.”
In the view of Oalmagazineandtv Oalmagazine, Buhari is nothing but a woman hater saying: “That misogynist will never employ women in his cabinet. He might have one depending on the pressure on him.”
But for Kelly Obojade, he did not see any reason a woman should be included in Buhari’s much-awaited cabinet as he stated: “Doing what there? They should stay in their husband’s house/kitchen.”