On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari named railway stations in the country after some “deserving Nigerians”, and Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was the only woman honoured.
Born in Abeokuta, Ogun state, where the Papalanto railway station named after her is, the late Ransome-Kuti was a renowned educator, political campaigner and women’s rights activist. She is the mother of Fela Kuti, Afro Beat mastero and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, former health minister.
Some of the other names on the list of 23 persons are ex-President Goodluck Jonathan; Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing; Lateef Jakande, former governor of Lagos state; Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate and Alex Ekwueme. former vice-president.
The list has drawn reactions from some Nigerians who criticised the president over lack of gender balance in his selections.
“What is the criteria to get a station and Dr Stella Adadevoh can’t get a station, my goodness the definition of hero in our dictionary must be enemy,” a Twitter user wrote.
Shehu Sani, former senator representing Kaduna central, asked the president to name a station in Kaduna after Tolulope Arotile, first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
“Name Kaduna Train station after Arotile,” Sani said.
Arotile died on July 14 of head injuries sustained from a freak accident which occurred at the NAF base in Kaduna. She was buried at the military cemetery in Abuja.
In the president’s first term, he appointed only six women as ministers out of the thirty-seven persons inaugurated. At the beginning of the second term in 2019, the president swore in seven female ministers, out of the 43 appointed into the cabinet.
Name Kaduna Train station after Arotile. — Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) July 27, 2020