Affirmative Action: Nigeria Records 18% Representation


With the nomination of Justice Mariam Alooma Mukhta, and her subsequent ratification by the Senate on Wednesday, as the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, in addition to the existing 13 women ministers in the federal cabinet, many female Permanent secretaries and three female Justices at the supreme court, brings to almost eighteen percent in the score sheet of the federal government proposed 35% affirmative action.

The Kano State chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Chief Magistrate Maryam Ahmed, noted this early in the week as she expressed satisfaction over the choice of a woman in the person of Justice Mariam Mukhtar as the would-be chief justice of the federation.

The magistrate who described the ‘choice’ as “unprecedented positive development for the judiciary and women folk in the country”, expressed optimism that Alooma would “perform wonders” as the nation’s CJN considering her track records in the judiciary.

As she commends the Jonathan’s administration for making good its campaign promise to ensure the implementation of the affirmative action, by allocating thirty-five percent to women representation in his government, Maryam Ahmed is hopeful that the remaining 17% would be realised before the expiration of President Jonathan’s administration.

She therefore, called on the various states governments to emulate the federal government in that direction, noting that most of them are not forth-coming in implementing the affirmative action for women representation especially in political appointments.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Affairs, Senator Joy Emodi, has lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for nominating Justice Murkhtar.

She said “the appointment of Justice Alooma Mariam Murkhtar, a woman, to head one of the three arms of government in Nigeria for the first time in almost 100 years of the country’s existence and 52 years of Nigeria’s Independence is a victory for Nigerian women.

“This is a great moment in history. By this action, Presidnet Goodluck Jonathan has added a new dimension to his promise of gender inclusive government and promotion of women. He has indeed lifted Nigerian women to greater heights and left an indelible mark in the annals of this nation she said.”


Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi