Ezekwesili under fire for blaming men for Nigeria’s woes

Oby Ezekwesili

A former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, was savagely criticised on Tuesday for saying that male political leaders are to blame for the poor state of affairs in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

Delivering a keynote speech at the maiden edition of the HID Awolowo Foundation annual lecture in Lagos, Ezekwesili said women are not to blame because they have had only a “marginal” role to play in governance on the continent.

Stressing the need to have more women at all levels and arms of government, the former vice-president of the World Bank said research had shown that in Africa, only five per cent of women are chief executive officers, only 22 per cent of women are cabinet members, 25 per cent are parliamentarians, 29 per cent are managers, while a mere 36 per cent get promotion.

“For as long as the women are held down, the trend analysis does not show any reversal of outcome. Nobody does any favour to Nigerian women by involving them in governance.

“Women are incredible human resource that we must put to use, and what this says to us is that we need to be more intentional and deliberate.

“Research shows that when many more women are at decision-making level, there is less corruption and a wise society would know that empowering its women is smart economics,” she said.

Her position that men are to blame for the continent’s woes attracted mostly negative reactions from people, some of who volunteered names of women they said were bad influence on their men.