**He Brought Akunyili Into Limelight, Says Ministerial Nominee
James Ocholi, the ministerial nominee one from Kogi state, on Thursday said it was President Muhammadu Buhari who brought Dora Akunyili into spotlight. Akunyili, who kicked the bucket on June 7, 2014, had asked Ocholi in the nation, the most prominent being chief general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Abiodun Olujimi, a senator from Ekiti state, had approached Ocholi for his response on being an imminent individual from an official committee with under 20 percent representation of women.
“Knowing and believing that as a father, you want equal opportunities for your children and the fact that women contribute at least 48 percent to the voting population of Nigeria, how do you react to going into an executive that has less than 20 percent of women?” the lawmaker asked.
Responding, Ocholi said he was not in the best position to comment on the decision of the president to constitute his cabinet in such manner, but defended Buhari by saying the president had brought many women into prominence.
“I plead with you not to allow me comment on it. The reason is simple,” he said.
“I don’t have the capacity to do the appointment. Mr. President had demonstrated in times past as one who raised many women and brought them into prominence.
“Prof. Dora Akunyili is one example. Vibrant woman, great achiever in several offices that she held. Who introduced her to limelight? She was a classroom teacher. It was Mr. President who brought her out at that time that he was beginning to diversify the PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund) to create zonal offices in order to ensure that the benefits of PTF reach states and local government speedily.
“Mr president who was then the chairman of PTF raised six women. All the zones had women as their coordinators and one of those women was Akunyili and from there she began to climb in her political career and became a great name at national level.
“Mr. President is in the process of filling available offices and I don’t think 35 percent affirmation is only tied to ministerial positions.”