President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the demand for a female vice president in 2019 was threatening the position of Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The President spake when female members of the state Houses of Assembly across the country asked him to consider picking a female running mate for the 2019 presidential election.
They made the demand when they paid a courtesy visit on Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Apart from the Vice President slot, the female legislators also asked Buhari to make it compulsory that one out of three senators produced by each state of the federation should be a woman.
They also demanded that three out of nine members of the House of Representatives from each state should be a woman.
The leader of the delegation, Mrs. Elizabeth Ative, made the demands on behalf of her colleagues.
Ative said, “All over the world, the issue of twinning is being advocated. Currently, many African and European nations are daily finding ways to include more women in governance.
“Some have elected or appointed women as Heads of States, Prime Ministers, Heads of Foreign Ministries and other key positions of decision making. It will not be out of place, Your Excellency, for women to be given such opportunities in our dear nation. Even God created them male and female.”
In his response however, Buhari jocularly told the women that their demand for a female Vice President, was a threat to the current holder of the office, Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo was not present at the meeting Buhari had with the female lawmakers.
“It is a pity that the Vice President is not here but I am sure the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will brief him that his position is threatened,” the President replied.
Buhari also said he had no constitutional powers to grant the third request that a particular number of federal lawmakers produced by each state should be women.
He said only a military dictator could make such a pronouncement.
“I am not all that powerful that when I talk it becomes a decree. As I said it is only the Vice President that is threatened,” he said.
He however thanked the women for their supports and urged them to continue especially as he had declared his intention to seek re-election.