Archive of ‘Politics and Commentary’ category

Why The New Zealand Shooting Should Make You Worried About Tolerance and Diversity

Photo Credit: The Straits Times

Last Friday, over 50 people were killed in two mosques in New Zealand. The killings were as a result of a mass shooting by a killer who live streamed murder on Facebook.

The killer was later identified as a 28-year-old man Australian man Brenton Tarrant who legally owned guns and had previously posted anti-Muslim propaganda online.

Fathers watched their sons die, mothers mourned their children and husband lost wives in the shooting.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the country will reform her gun laws to prevent such occurrences in the future.

It happened in New Zealand but the shooting should concern everyone across Africa because of the growing anti-religious, anti-black propaganda spreading in different parts of the world.

Tolerance and diversity refer to a way of thinking about, and behaving toward, other people irrespective of their physical or social characteristics.

As African women, we are taught to embrace each other and celebrate our unity as individuals and as active participants in any society we find ourselves.

Most of us grew up with neighbors who shared different ethnicity and religion, yet we learnt to embrace our universality as one.

Today, we are forced to deal with the biases and ill treatment of individuals who don’t share certain beliefs in different parts of the world.

The African mother in diaspora has to work hard to teach her children about tolerance and diversity because they face certain challenges due to the colour of their skin and sometimes something as ridiculous as pronunciation of their names.

We need to have more conversations about tolerance and diversity, we need to ask more questions and we need to stimulate more interesting discussions.

Meet Lagos First Lady: Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu


Lagos State Governor Elect Babajide Sanwo-Olu campaigned vigorously. Everywhere in Lagos was splattered with his campaign posters and face caps.

He was proactive, he was everywhere online and offline. Sanwo-Olu became a living walking version of “MTN Everywhere you go”

However, you cannot help but notice his wife Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, her smile radiated a confidence that reinforced the electorates belief in her husband.

She is a medical doctor with 27 years of practice. Her unwavering support for her husband is an amazing feat that should be emulated.

When Babajide Sanwo-Olu was declared winner of the election, he took to Twitter to appreciate his wife and children.

Her demeanor is fantastic and her fashion top notch. Here are more photos of the new first lady.

How to Stay Safe During Elections

General Elections

Yes, general elections is around the corner and staying safe is a priority. After the hullabaloo that happened during the All Progressives Congress Lagos Campaign rally, more and more Nigerians have began to question the assurance of safety of lives and properties during the elections.

There is a prediction that while some states might be marred with violence, some states will have peaceful elections.

Elections in Nigeria are generally marred with violence, as women, we have to keep our families safe. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe during the general elections.

Get Home Early

Two weeks to the election, ensure you get home early. Don’t stay out late at night for any reason and in times when you have to commute a long distance, stay in the safest place you can find.

Refrain from wearing political campaign tees in hot zones

Hot zones are places known for political violence. During the weeks preceding the elections, don’t wear political campaign uniforms indiscriminately. Be cautious.

Beware of Social Joints

Yes, you have social joints where you hang out like Newspaper stands, your street vendors etc. Ensure that these places are safe before venturing into any political discussion or contributing to political conversations. Always beware of violence breaking out any minute due to political differences any minute.

Cut back family Outings

Yes, you love to take the kids out every Sunday but its election period, be extra careful. Prior to the election, cut back family outings. Have fun with the kids at home just for the time being.

Get food Items

The markets will be closed, there will be a hike and the outcome of the election will determine the stability of the country. So get food items. Ensure that you are not short on any food item.

Avoid crowded areas

Because anything can happen at anytime especially in crowded areas, avoid crowded areas like a plague.

Service your vehicles

In case of any emergency, you might need to use your vehicle and the hullabaloo of the election might not allow your mechanic to be readily available. So service your vehicle.

Go home immediately after voting

After casting your vote, go home. Don’t loiter.

Independence Day: What You Should Know About Yellow Trumpet, Nigeria’s National Flower


Recently the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle revealed that she had the flower of all 53 Commonwealth countries included in her wedding veil and that was the first time I was hearing that countries have a national flower.

In honour of our 58th independence day, here is what you need to know about the Nigerian national flower.

Costus Spectabilis is the Nigerian national flower. It is also called yellow trumpet.

The flower which is also included in the coat of arms was chosen for inclusion in the coat of arms as it is found all over Nigeria and also stand for the beauty of the nation.

The flowers are painted red in the Coat of arms.

Nigeria is not the only country where the flower is found, it is found from Sierra Leone to Sudan to as far south as Angola and Zimbabwe.

The flowers are showy, yellow, and open singly and die rapidly, but are immediately followed by another. The texture of the flower is soft and thin.

Yellow Trumpet has 109 species and they are closely related to the ginger family.

It is found in wooded grassland and deciduous woodland, occasionally near termite mounds or around rocks.

You can get tips on how to grow and care for the Yellow Trumpet here

Happy Independence Day Nigeria!

Ladies, Here is What You Should Know About Vote Buying and How To Not Fall Victim


Electoral Fraud is any form of illegal interferance in the conduct of free and fair elections. Vote Buying and Rigging is one of the most popular forms of electoral fraud in Nigeria. Today, we will discuss vote buyig and how not to fall victim.

Vote buying occurs when a political party or candidate seeks to buy the vote of a voter in an upcoming election. Vote buying can take various forms such as a monetary exchange, as well as an exchange for necessary goods or services.

Obtaining bags of rice and other household goods prior to election is a form of vote buying. Sitting elected leaders also offer early salary and arrears payment as a masked form of vote buying.

In a survey, 58% of Nigerians surveyed at the time of the 2007 election viewed vote buying as immoral. Despite this, when asked if they thought it was wrong to accept rewards or monetary compensation for your vote, 78% said no.

Over time, money has become a major determinant factor in Nigeria’s democracy. The highest bidder emerges winners are voters are none the wiser.

According to Nigeria Electoral Act, 2010, Article 130:

“A person who— (a) corruptly by himself or by any other person at any time after the date of an election has been announced, directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays money to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election; or (b) being a voter, corruptly accepts or takes money or any other inducement during any of the period stated in paragraph (a) of this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.”

Enforcing this law has been an uphill task.

According to Open Democracy , Vote Buying usually occurs during voter registration, candidates nomination and campaign and election day.

The only way to not be involved in vote buying is by asking questions and saying no. As women, we have a huge influence on the electoral decisions of everyone around us. This is the main reason why we have to encourage everyone to ask their potential electoral leaders questions about their policies and what they will do if elected to represent. Say no to vote buying.

Meet The Female Heads of State & Heads of Government From All Over The World


World over, women in leadership is still small compared to men. Although women make half of the world population, women leaders are still scrambling for attention and election in a male dominated society.

There are only 20 women holding the office of Head of State or Head of Government, which represents only 6,3% of the total number of international leaders. Only United Kingdom and New Zealand combine two women as head of state and head of government.

Here is a list of female leaders from all over the world.

Heads of State


Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, president since 2015 and the first woman to hold the office


NepalBidhya Devi Bhandari, president of Nepal since 2015 and the first woman to hold the office, former Minister of Defence

The Marshall IslandsHilda Heine, president since 2016 and the first woman to hold the office; previously she served as the Minister of Education and the first person in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree.

Croatia – Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, president since 2015, former Croatian Ambassador to the UN and former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.

DanemarkMargrethe II, Queen since 1972

EstoniaKersti Kaljulaid, president since 2016, the first woman to hold the office and the youngest president of Estonia

LithuaniaDalia Grybauskaite, president since 2009, first woman to hold the office and the first President of Lithuania to be re-elected; former European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget and for Education and Culture.

Malta – Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, president since 2014, former minister for the Family and Social Solidarity.

United KingdomQueen Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms since 1952, the longest currently reigning monarch and head of state

South America

ChileMichelle Bachelet, president since 2014, former Executive Director of UN Women; the first president since 1932 to win twice in the presidential elections.

Heads of governments

Currently 10 women are prime ministers (against 7 in 2017). These represents 7,3% of the total number of 137 chiefs of governments.


NamibiaSaara Kuugongelwa, prime minister since 2015, former Minister of Finance

BangladeshSheikh Hasina Wajed, prime minister since 2009 (third term).

MyanmarAung San Suu Kyi, State counsellor since 2016 (the position corresponding to that of the prime minister), recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize


New ZealandJacinda Ardern, prime minister since 2017 and the leader of the Labour Party. She is the youngest prime minister in the world (37 y.o. when she took the office)

GermanyAngela Merkel, Chancellor since 2005 and leader of Christian Democratic Union, former minister for the Environment and for Women and Youth

.Iceland – Katrín Jakobsdóttir, prime minister since 2017 and former minister of Education, Science and Culture and of Nordic Co-operation

NorwayErna Solberg, prime minister since 2013 and leader of the Conservative Party, former Minister of Local Government and Regional Development

SerbiaAna Brnabic, prime minister since 2017, former Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Serbia, first woman and first openly gay person to hold the office

United KingdomTheresa May, prime minister since 2016 and leader of the Conservative Party, former Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities

South America


Peru – Mercedes Aráoz, prime minister and second vice president since 2017, former minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism and minister of Finance.


South Africa may finally be marching towards solutions to sexual violence


The start of Women’s Month (August) in South Africa this year was refreshingly different from other years as women took to the streets in #TheTotalShutdown protests. It saved the country from the yearly hackneyed speeches by politicians about women’s empowerment.

The marches reminded South Africans of women’s protests that took place during the country’s transition period between 1992 and 1994 under the banner of the Women’s National Coalition. At the time women were demanding to be included in the negotiation process and in designing the architecture of the new democracy.

In the decade that followed activism around women’s issues became limited to campaigns that were smaller in scope, such as the Shukumisa Campaign that engaged the state around the Sexual Offenses Act, or the One in Nine Campaign which proclaims that only one in nine rapes are reported. There has also been NGO activism.

Five years ago when the country was shocked into action after the brutal murder of Anene Booysen. The 17-year old was gang raped, disembowled and left for dead in a small town called Bredasdorp in the Western Cape province. The brutal nature of the attack led to a country-wide outcry and was featured on the front pages of newspapers.

This campaign was short-lived, but it emphasised the need for state intervention that did not happen. Three years later, in 2016, protests erupted at universities across the country as students took gender based violence to the streets. The #EndRapeCulture protests were led by women at universities and was, in my view, South Africa’s #Metoo moment – even before #Metoo happened globally.

The #EndRapeCulture exposed the insidious nature of sexual violence, men’s entitlement and women living in constant fear of being raped or sexually brutalised. It was a resistance against the normalisation of gender based violence.

Then the issue once again fell away from public attention – until recently, when women began mobilising for the #TheTotalShutdown protests. This was the first time activism on a national level focused on gender based violence, not only against women but also against members of the LGBTIQ communities.

This activism was long overdue. Not only did the protest marches foreground sexual violence; they also attempted to change the binary view of sex as male and female.

The demands

The #TheTotalShutdown has 24 demands in its memorandum. None of these are really new, but they are the reiteration of requests that have been made again and again in the hope that something will change this time.

The most important demands are:

  • a review of past national action plans on gender based violence and the development of a new National Action Plan;
  • the re-establishment of the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Quality of Life and the Status of Women that did stellar work monitoring state departments under the leadership of feminist and human rights activist Pregs Govender in South Africa’s first democratic parliament;
  • greater involvement in monitoring gender based violence by the country’s Chapter 9 bodies, such as the Commission for Gender Equality; and,
  • the prevention of secondary victimisation and consistent sentencing of perpetrators of sexual violence; psycho-social support and better resourcing of the Thuthuzela care centres, one stop centres for reporting rape at police stations.

What’s next

Women have been asking for a great deal of what’s on the list for more than a decade.

So why has there been no action?

There’s clearly a lack of political will to deal with sexual violence. This starts with state agencies such as the police that often trivialise women’s reports of rape, are quite lethargic to investigate rape and often are complicit in rape themselves. This needs to change.

South Africans need to know how police are trained to deal with victims of sexual violence.

The large numbers of women who took part in the #TotalShutDown marches showed that women are not only victims. They also have agency. Their decision not to allow men to participate was so that women could take a stand without men taking charge. Men can show solidarity through working with other men, and by challenging men who are involved in violence.

The #TotalShutDown protesters demand 365 days of action against gender based violence. But more powerful ways of keeping government to account must be found. The fight against gender based violence needs to move beyond simply seeking that perpetrators be jailed, as the ANC Women’s League does with its mantra

rapists should rot in jail.

Violence should be dealt with not only once it has happened but should also be prevented. How many more women have to get raped or lose their lives before South Africa develops interventions that will not put the burden of responsibility on women’s shoulders?

This article was originally published in The Conversation.

First Nigerian Women: Here is a complete list of first female everything in Nigeria


Professor Grace Alele Williams

These women broke barriers to become to first female in their field in a country where female children were often considered second class citizens.

First female professor in Nigeria

Grace Alele-Williams (born December 16th, 1932) is an educator who made history as the first Nigerian woman to become the head (vice-chancellor) of a Nigerian university, the University of Benin. She was also the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree.She is a professor of mathematics education.

First Female Writer in Nigeria

Flora Nwapa. Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa (13 January 1931 – 16 October 1993) was a Nigerian author who has been called the mother of modern African literature.

First Female Medical Doctor in Nigeria

Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi. Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi (née Akerele, 1910–1971) was the first female physician to practice in Nigeria. She was also the first West African woman to earn a license of Royal Surgeon in Dublin.

First Female Pilot in Nigeria

Chinyere Kalu, MFR (née Onyenucheya) is the first Nigerian female commercial pilot. She served as the rector and chief instructor of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology between October 2011 and February 2014.

First Female Judge in Nigeria

Aloma Mariam Mukhtar is the first female lawyer from Northern Nigeria, first female judge of the High Court in Kano State judiciary, the first female justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, the first female justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

First Female Governor in Nigeria

Virginia Etiaba has been sworn in as Nigeria’s first female governor after Anambra state legislature impeached Peter Obi for gross misconduct. She had been deputy governor in the south-eastern state and initially refused to take the position.

First Woman to drive a car in Nigeria

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was the first woman in the country to drive a car. Ransome-Kuti’s political activism led to her being described as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria, as well as to her being regarded as “The Mother of Africa.”

First Woman to own a car in Nigeria

Madam Efunroye Tinubu was the first Nigerian woman to buy a car, she was also the first Iyalode of the Egba clan. She was born around 1805 in Abeokuta, Nigeria and was once a slave trader who traded with Europeans.

First Nigerian Female Post Colonial Senator

Franca Afegbua is a Nigerian beautician and politician who represented Bendel North in the Nigerian Senate in 1983. Elected as a National Party of Nigeria (NPN) senator, she was the first elected woman senator in Nigeria. Afegbua was born in Okpella, Edo State.

First Female Nigerian Professional Footballer

Perpetua Ijeoma Nkwocha (born 3 January 1976) is a Nigerian female professional footballer, who is the coach of Clemensnäs IF from Swedish Women’s Football Division 2, she previously played for Swedish club Sunnanå SK. She is also a member and the captain of the Nigeria women’s national football team.

Presidential Candidate Eunice Atuejide tweets controversial views on feminism in Nigeria


Founder of the National Interest Party and Presidential Candidate of the party, Eunice Atuejide recently tweeted about feminism in Nigeria and this didn’t sit well with a lot of Nigerians on Twitter.

She wrote

In response to her tweet, the Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Ola Orekunrin wrote

Here is another response

Atuejide is not just your usual run on the mill presidential candidate.

She participated in Taekwondo throughout her secondary and tertiary education and was among the team that represented the University of Ibadan at NUGA games from 1996 to 1999.Note that Taekwondo is a sport women rarely venture into.

She also achieved the black belt 1st Dan in 2005 with BUDO Taekwondo Club in Siegen Germany.

She took the Diploma in Film Making and Acting at the New York Film Academy and Sally Johnson’s Studios respectively and made films for seven years before she went back to practice law.

Today, she practices in both Nigeria and the United Kingdom.





What You Should Know About Consumer Protection Council’s Patients’ Bill of Rights


Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has launched the country’s first patients’ bill of rights developed by the Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria to protect the dignity of vulnerable Nigerians.

Osinbajo while speaking at the Launch in Abuja said respect for patients and human lives explain how a country values its citizens and this is the responsibility of not only healthcare practitioners but includes the entire healthcare value chains.

Director General of CPC,  Barrister Babatunde Irukera also added that “We take a definite step in ensuring people’s rights in the healthcare sector are truly respected and protected in part because no one in our country is insulated or immunised from needing medical services.”

Here is what you should know about the Patients’ Bill of Rights.

A patient’s bill of rights is a list of guarantees for those receiving medical care. It may take the form of a law or a non-binding declaration. It guarantees patients information, fair treatment, and autonomy over medical decisions, among other rights.

The bill of rights include

  1. Right to relevant information
  2. Right to timely access to medical records
  3. Right to transparent billing
  4. Right to privacy
  5. Right to clean health care environment and right to be treated with respect
  6. Right to receive urgent care
  7. Right to reasonable visitation
  8. Right to decline care
  9. Right to decline or accept to participate in medical research
  10. Right to quality care and right to complain and express dissatisfaction regarding services received.

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