By Bill W. Cooper
The former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has urged women of Africa including Liberia to find their voices and take actions individually and collectively, as African men will not give them anything freely.He said that women have to struggle for their rights in order to take it from men, emphasizing that what they are expecting from men to give to them, will not happen, and that they will not get it, as they should not take anything for granted.
Speaking at the formal launching of Liberia’s former President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf “Presidential Center for Women and Development” along with its flagship program AMUJAE, Obasanjo said that in almost all cases, women have performed better in public service than men, and as such, they need to be given the opportunity to help transform the African continent.
According to former President Obasanjo, African continent has had only three African women elected in public office, and that today, no other African countries have single African women elected as presidents, asking, “Are we making progress? No! We are not. Should we not be making progress? Of course we should.”
He indicated that there is no religion in the world that says women should be under men, but instead, men do it because they enjoy it and forget about their own security, adding that they also want to feel big like a man being placed between two women, who he said are deceiving themselves.
He asked, “How can a man feel big when the woman that is to make him feel that way, is being trampled upon? This is mere “bigotry” and that there is nothing there for men to enjoy. Women need to be courageous, consistent, selfless, built bridges and above all, have faith in God in order to gain their voices in politics.”
The Nigerian former Head of State then lauded former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the initiative, emphasizing, “you dream and we are seeing the actualization of your dreams, as your favorite quotation says, “If your dream is not bigger of yourself, then there is something wrong with your dream and because you dream big, you are fulfilling it in a big way.”
He added, “You find a need and you decide to do something about it, as that need is the situation of the position of women in our continent. It doesn’t matter what my brothers may say, because they enjoy the position of good women, and now, it is up to the women themselves to say no and stand up by saying ‘we are not going to accept it any longer.’
Meanwhile, Olusegun Obasanjo has declared himself as the new He for She champion on the African continent. He said his decision was triggered from the onset when he heard the word He for She, but could not understand the real meaning until he was fortunate to have sat between two women where he felt as a chief, alluding, “What we really need to move women up in Africa is that many men should declare themselves as He for She champion.”