The current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s former Minister of environment and has said that Nigeria deserves a woman for president in 2023.
She said this at the Mo Ibrahim foundation weekend in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, during an interview with the convener, Ibrahim, when she was asked if she would consider running in the next election.
Asked when we would have a female president, she said, “In 2023…Insha Allah.” She said.
On considering whether to run, Mohammed said: “Here we go again. Look, all of my life has been as a public servant, as one that serves, so that’s not a problem for me. But let me be truthful here, I have always thought that I’m appointable and not electable.
“I’m speaking as a Nigerian, not as a DSG. I think the political system that we have in our country, I believe in Democracy, but the model where we are is an incredibly difficult environment to say you would come to office through the will of the people. I think the manipulation of democracy in our countries is a very issue. I believe we have a population, as I said, with a level of literacy that can be manipulated. That’s not right.
“I think the fact that we got president Buhari in office this time was somewhat of a miracle, really, it is not easy to do it straight and narrow.” She said
In addition, Amina says “I think this is a work in progress. Democracy in my country is a work in progress. We have three arms of government, we have a federal system of government, it’s incredibly difficult, and that is why I think, I will make a really good campaign manager for the next woman president.
“Because it’s very important, we need to start from today to get a woman in power in 2023. I think there are competent Nigerians, I think that they should be mobilised to see that a woman gets into power next time. Nigeria deserves a woman, deserves a leader that can take 180 million people to the place they should be and that I can say ‘yes I know my Nigeria is the number one country in the world’ but it needs to earn it as well. And that ‘earning’ needs good leadership, and that good leadership is a Nigerian woman” she stated.
On whether there is a glass-ceiling for women given the current political system, Amina said; “I don’t think there is a glass ceiling for women. I think there is a concrete one. And we need to consistently chisel away until we find the crack and we get through it. Then we can truly say that our representation is genuine, is credible and is just.”
Commenting on her job as former minister for environment, Mohammed described it as the easiest.
“First Nigeria, the best country in the world, (she said this with a thumb up). The job that I had as a minister in Nigeria is one of the greatest honours I have had. I actually think it’s an easier job than the deputy secretary general. She revealed.
“Much easier because this is where you sit in government, you are given the responsibility, the voice and the power to do things for people. Whereas in the United Nations, we are serving the member states to do something for the people, so there are a lot more negotiations.
“At home, you get a portfolio, go ahead and do what you need to do, the president gives you full backing to do it. And you can go. You can speak to the world on as the voice of Nigeria on any platform but in the United Nations, I’m the humble servant of 193 member states and you negotiate.” Amina said.