The Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s treatment of women.
Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate during the 2011 presidential election, said the President’s claim that his wife, Aisha, was only fit for his living room, kitchen and the ‘other room’, was an insult to all mothers and daughters in Nigeria and should be treated as such.
The pastor said this in Abuja on Saturday at the 2nd Annual Chibok Girls lecture organised by the Bring Back Our Girls group in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the abduction of over 215 schoolgirls from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State,on April 14, 2014.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Towards a just and good society: Renewing our commitment to the girl child in Nigeria’, the keynote speaker said the mindset of a leader could either improve or stall the quest for gender equality.
He said, “There are structural causal factors, institutional causal factors, constitutional causal factors and leadership causal factors because whatever makes a man to look at his wife and say she is only good for the kitchen, the living room and the other room shows you what goes on in the mind of a leader.
“Our President was standing next to the most powerful woman in the world and reduced the African woman to just the kitchen and the bedroom. I stand here to say that women are not objects to be used but persons to be respected.
“If that was meant to be a joke by the President, then, that is just an expensive joke that is uncalled for on an international scene. It was unnecessary and even an embarrassment to even the mothers that bore us and the daughters that we are raising.
“Their place is not just in the bedroom or kitchen; their place is also in the parliament and one day, who knows, the day will come that even the Villa will be occupied by a woman in this country.”
Bakare said the fact that Boko Haram had continued to target females, especially schoolgirls, was a reflection of how women were being treated in the larger society.
The cleric said it was this same mentality that had caused many state assemblies, especially in the North, to refuse to pass the Child Rights Act, which seeks to curb child marriage among girls.
Bakare added, “The institutionalisation of oppression takes oppressive practices from the realm of custom to the realm of public policy until oppression is accepted as a way of life. It is clear that the oppression of the girl child has become institutionalised in Nigeria.