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How Ikonjo-Iweala Responded When Asked If She Will Contest For President In 2023 And Its Implication

The Director General of World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been in the news for some reasons after resuming at the world trading body.

Okonjo-Iweala emerges <a class=WTO Director-General -- first woman ever"/>

Image credit: Premium Times

Part of the reasons was because she opened up on some of the challenges she is facing at the WTO. She also fueled speculations that she may consider resigning from that top job, according to a report by Sahara Reporters which cited other sources too. But, the main focus of this article is the response of Okonjo-Iweala when she was asked if it is true that she would be contesting for President of Nigeria in 2023.

How she responded

Okonjo-Iweala's response sent a clear signal. She did not just deny it but used strong terms to do so. She described such speculations as totally ridiculous and untrue. It would be recalled that she had earlier said that she just got to her job at WTO, so she would be trying to turn things around over there amid the challenges she is facing. So to her, linking her with 2023 presidential ambition in Nigeria in 2023 which is just les than two years from now is a tall order that she is not thinking of at all.

Image credit: Sahara Reporters

Implications of Okonjo-Iwaela's response

First, her response was direct. It was a capital no. She is not thinking of contesting for President of Nigeria as rumours have it. She made it plain without giving any political response expected of politicians who usually like to be evasive and unpredictable. So, do not expect Okonjo-Iweala in the race at all based on her answer.

2023: South-West women set agenda for gender inclusiveness

Image credit: Vanguard

Second, it could mean that no female candidate may be in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. Over the years, no female candidate has ever contested for President of Nigeria unlike what is obtained in many other countries including developed worlds. Females contest and have even ruled bigger countries such as Germany, UK, Brasil, Argentina and other countries.

The Whole World Is Laughing At Us&#39;, Ezekwesili Tells Buhari After Kankara  Schoolboys&#39; Return – Channels Television

Image credit: Channels

Nigeria has never had a female Presidential candidate that made it to the poll. Former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili would have been the first person to do so in this recent time. But she gave up her presidential ambition under controversial circumstances even before the election drew closer. Now that Okonjo-Iweala is not running, the race may go on without any female.

WTO boss, Okonjo-Iweala, welcomes bias ruling over &#39;grandmother&#39; taunt |  Business Insider Africa

Image credit: Business Insider

Thirdly, Nigerian politics may continue to be male dominated for many more years. While women are clamouring for inclusiveness in Nigerian politics, such inclusiveness may not reflect their aspirations because more women of substance are not joining the race for key offices. They cannot expect or realize such inclusiveness through appointment by men who win elections. That may never happen. In that case, the Nigerian political arena and key offices may continue to be dominated by males for many more years to come unless there is any change soon.

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Ikonjo-Iweala Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Sahara Reporters WTO World Trade Organization


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