Women could gain from quota systems in terms of political involvement, according to Matthew Kukah, Catholic bishop of the Sokoto Diocese.
He stressed, however, that the special treatment does not extend to families of government officials or “mistresses of big boys.”
On Saturday, the Catholic priest addressed the topic during an Abuja book fair
Recall that senators and members of the House of Representatives voted against proposals that would increase women’s participation in politics and government.
Reacting to the outcry over the issue, Kukah said the beauty of democracy is to expand the frontiers of knowledge
He added that “there are some things in the African culture that are the direct antithesis of democracy”.
“Now the women are talking about gender. These are conversations we never had before and of course, in Nigeria and in Africa they still tell you ‘can you imagine, men are talking and women are talking’ which is that it is not acceptable that a man should be talking and a woman is talking,” Kukah said.
“As far as I am concerned, people like myself or my small ethnic group that is marginalised even at local government level, I am asking if we are going to create a space for women, and I think we should, but we must agree on the kind of women who are going to benefit from that quota.
“Because if it is just the same big boys who are coming with their mistresses and their extra wives, it is not acceptable.
“Unless you are going to say that we create a quota for women but in creating that quota we must listen to 70, 80 percent of Nigerians who are not Igbos, who are not Hausas, who are not Fulanis, who are not those of us who have the right to be here.
“So I would suggest, yes grant the quota, but the quota cannot be benefitted… nobody who was already benefiting should benefit from that quota.”