Gideon Samani, the presidential aide, has given some insight into President Muhammadu Buhari’s attitude to women and the low number of female ministers.
Samani revealed that Buhari did not include many women in his ministerial list because he is “very shy dealing with the opposite sex”.
The presidential aide added that the president was used to interacting with men, but noted quickly that the matter of gender inequality would be addressed by Buhari.
His statement is contrary to that of a ministerial appointee from Kogi state, James Ocholi, who in defence of the low representation of female nominees told the Senate on October 22 that Buhari had brought women into prominence, including the late Prof. Dora Akunyili.
Samani said: “If you are close to Mr. President, you will know that he has the interest of the nation as his uppermost priority. He did not intentionally marginalise women.
“It is just that Mr. President is shy with women. He has been interacting mostly with men. I can assure you that in the shortest time, this issue of gender inequality will be dealt with.”
Speaking about change and the last elections: “The change we seek is real and not mere rhetoric. People must feel it, touch it, and experience it across the different strata of our society – in schools, churches, market places and at all our duty posts.
“It is not going to be business as usual. Many guilty Nigerians, of their own accord, have fled the country. Our public institutions are now working.
“The availability of fuel and the generation and distribution of power have improved ever since. All hands must be on deck for all of us to be these agents of change,” he noted.
The Senate has postponed the screening of ministerial nominees till October 27, Tuesday, having finally approved the ex-governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi.
With the five ministerial nominees that were confirmed yesterday, there are 11 appointees left on the waiting list.