President Muhammadu Buhari has fired back at critics who claim his fear of womenfolk is responsible for his alleged failure to appoint enough women into his cabinet, saying he the report left him gobsmacked.
The president reacted in a press statement issued by his media team on Friday after one Gideon Samani, who was initially reported to have been a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters but later revealed as an aide to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal, said the president’s few female appointments since he assumed office in May may have come naturally.
“It is just that Mr. President is shy with women. He has been interacting mostly with men. I can assure you that in the shortest time, this issue of gender inequality will be dealt with,” Samani reportedly said during an event in Abuja Thursday.
In a swift denial, the president’s office said, “The claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is shy around women, purportedly made by one Gideon Samani yesterday and published by a national newspaper today is totally fallacious.”
The statement added that since the president has a wife, daughters and a late mother he adored, it would be senseless to allege that he has a morbid aversion for women, adding that Buhari received the report with “shock and consternation.”
“President Buhari has a wife, many daughters and female relatives whom he loves dearly. He also had a mother that he adored. How then could he be shy in the company of women, to the point of allegedly not appointing them into public offices, on account of not being comfortable in their company?”
The president, therefore, urged Nigerian women to disregard the statement and assured them of a prominent role in his administration.
“Nigerian women can be assured that the President holds them in the highest esteem and will always give them due consideration in the discharge of his official responsibilities,” he said.
Mr. Buhari has been facing unceasing criticism over the lopsided appointment he’d made so far. Political experts say the president has not appointed enough women to fill their mandated quota of 35% in his cabinet