[Breaking] 2023: Another Minister makes u-turn on political ambition, prefers current position

Dame Pauline Tallen

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has withdrawn from running for the senatorial seat for southern district of Plateau state.

Tallen was to resign following the directive from President Mohammadu Buhari that all appointees seeking elective positions in the upcoming 2023 general elections should resign, but was caught up in the 30-day timeline stipulated in the Electoral Act for anyone interested to comply with.

The Minister in a signed statement made available in Abuja, Monday, said following the constitution, “it will therefore be a breach to resign office at this time since this was not done ahead of the stipulated timeline.”

She noted that Nigeria was at a crucial point in history with women’s participation at the lowest ebb with just 6.7% at the parliament.

Tallen said she was more committed to seeing a better picture “with Nigeria taking its rightful place as the true giant of Africa,” and has therefore, taken an informed perspective to support more women across all political spheres.

“I would like to thank and assure all my supporters that while their intention was well conceived, my current work in superintending the numerous projects for Mr President as Women affairs Minister require my undivided attention.

“Additionaly, whilst their quest is a good move in support of the clamour for more women in elective and appointive positions, and considered to be critical in addressing the gender question, I’m compelled to focus on the foundations we have laid towards the advancement and realisation of gender equality in leadership positions in the country,” she said.

“I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broadbased consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

“I have decided to voluntarily step down from the Senatorial race sequel to the yearnings of women and other well meaning Nigerians who see the need for a strong voice for Women at the Senate having consulted widely with my family, well-wishers and supporters conscious of the role I play for women in Nigeria today! So to all Nigerian women and young girls who have raised concerns as to what next, rest assured that I, Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG have not submitted any resignation letter and therefore, it is my decision not to go ahead with this request but carry on as the Minister of Women Affairs.”

The Minister further said Nigeria has a long standing commitment in overcoming the challenges that inhibit women from bringing about positive changes and the requisite impacts when given a place at the table of decision making, adding that her appointment as the Minister of Women Affairs was indicative of the progress and therefore she cannot lose sight of the opportunity.

She added that the quest for gender equality and broadening access to enable women to participate meaningfully in Nation building, was at the heart of her desire to unlock the potentials of women to bring about positive change in the history of Nigeria, adding that “the values upon which this success rests is most critical, if appreciable, progress is to be made in fulfilling our well conceived gender agenda.

“As we celebrate our modest achievements, we are also conscious of the opportunities and achievements yet to be harnessed for Nigerian Women under this administration. As a humble servant of Nigerian Women, I am overwhelmed by the hard work, courage, patriotism and loyalty displayed by Women and I remain resolute to ride on these foundations to enable us build solid structures to yield strategic progress to add through our history.”