Kukah Backs 30% Affirmative Action But Not For Politicians’ Wives

The fiery cleric noted that his support is strictly reserved for women who do not have husbands roaming the proverbial corridors of power.

FILES: Women protest at the gate of the National Assembly in Abuja on March 2, 2022. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV


The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has thrown his weight behind calls for a minimum of 30 percent representation of women in governance.

However, the fiery cleric noted that his support is strictly reserved for women who do not have husbands in the proverbial corridors of power.

Delivering the keynote address at the Parents Summit of the 2023 Education Week in Edo State, Kukah said, “Women are saying, ‘We want 30 percent’ – although my argument about 30 percent is slightly different from the argument of the women.

“I don’t want to go into those details. I am fully in support of women getting 30 percent power in Nigeria. But my argument is that it cannot be the same women whose husbands are already holding power in Abuja and across the country.”

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The bishop cautioned against feeding the monster of nepotism already  bedevilling governance in Nigeria, saying he did not see the justice in allowing powerful men extend control to their privileged spouses.

“And this is nothing personal; it is the reality that the Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani and Hausa who are already holding power will bring their wives, mistresses and daughters to become ministers, senators, and so on,” he said.

“If you’re going to do 40 percent – or 30 percent – that 30 percent must go to women who represent communities that are not represented at all.”

Noting that affirmative action is not about empowering just any woman, Kukah said “there must be discrimination in favour of injustice that has been institutionalised.”