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2019: Muslim group backs women presidency

By Umar Bayo Abdulwahab Ilorin

Coordinator, Protection of Women Dignity Initiative, a nongovernmental organisation based in Ilorin, Dr. Nimah Modupe Abdulraheem, has backed the clamour for Muslim women presidency in Nigeria in 2019.

Abdulraheem, a lecturer in the department of Law, University of Ilorin, said Sharia, which is the basic law guiding the lives of Muslims, “does not forbids women to be head, especially in a nation like Nigeria, where the constitution and not Sharia is being used as instrument of governance.”

Th is is even as a leader of the criterion sisters, an organisation of Muslim women in business and the professions, Dr. Saudat Sallah Abdulbaqi, advocated equal rightsto education for male and female children. Abdulbaqi, who is the head, department of mass communication, said ‘‘Islam is not a sexist religion and does not discriminate between male and female.” Th e duo spoke at the third public lecture/interactive session organised by the protection of Women Dignity Initiative (PWDI) in Ilorin on Saturday.

Th e theme for this year lecture was “Islam and the Right of Women to Self- Realisation.” Speaking with journalists on the sideline of the lecture, AbdulRaheem said ‘‘I subscribe that it is right for Nigeria to have a woman as the president in 2019. I believe that actually that if Nigeria has a woman president, things will be better in this country.”

She the women folks, if supported to exercise their rights by the male would bring about the desired change Nigerians had been yeaning for. “Women are illuminating, Nigeria is in darkness, allow women to shed more light on things. Problems that have not been able to be resolved by men can be equally solved by women. Even in Islam, we all have political rights. Just as the man has the right to be the president of a nation, a woman equally has the

same right even under Islamic law to be the head of the nation. So, I perfectly subscribe to it especially when the nation is not an Islamic nation. It could have been a diff erent thing if we are talking of a particular nation where Sharia is the basic law. But we are talking of Nigeria where we use the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Th ere is no state religion. So, what will prevent a woman from becoming the president of the nation?

If the constitution says there should be no discrimination against any gender, so why are we discriminating against women,” she said. Highlighting some of the challenges denying women from attaining self realisation, the university teacher identifi ed “repression, scarcity of good man to marry, cultural’’ factors among other factors.


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