Women must be agents of positive change – Nigeria First Lady


The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, on Tuesday urged women to justify the confidence reposed in them by their male counterparts and be agents of positive change.

Jonathan said this in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the presidential villa by a delegation of women from Abia, led by the wife of the governor, Mrs Mercy Orji.

According to her, the participation of women in governance is more now than before as the Nigerian woman has been given her pride of place in the affairs of governance.

She said: “At this juncture, I must say that the ‘ball is now in our court’ as women to justify the confidence that has been reposed in us.

“The challenge is now for us to reciprocate the wonderful gesture of Mr President in given women equal opportunity in Nigeria.

“We should therefore ensure that women participation in government result in effecting positive change in the transformation agenda of the present administration,” she said.

The wife of the president urged women to bring to bear their inborn qualities as homemakers, peace ambassadors and bridge-builders to effect the needed change in their communities.

“It is now time for us to get our act together as women, and ensure that the 35 per cent affirmative action is passed into law, by the National Assembly.

“I therefore want to call on all women in Nigeria to continue to act as agents of positive change in whatever capacity we may find ourselves,” she stressed.

Jonathan said this could be done through the initiation of programmes that affect the less privileged, youths, unemployed and the physically challenged.

“In addition to this, I want to urge you to pick up the olive branch and spread the message of peace in your state.

“By so doing, you are contributing your own quota to making Nigeria, a better place. This will be not only for this generation, but for generations yet unborn,” Jonathan said.

In her address, wife of Abia governor said that the women were in the State House to commend the First Lady for building bridges across Africa.

“As President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, you have built bridges for peace not only in Nigeria but across Africa.

“Again, we thank you for the uncommon concern for the womenfolk. I am proud to say that Nigerian women have never had it so good.

“History will surely be kind to you, your husband and children, especially the attainment of 35 per cent affirmative action in appointive positions for women in politics,” she said. (NAN)

About author

Kemi Wale-Olaitan

Kemi is a retired broadcaster from the service of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; while in service, she had her interest in women issues and had interviews with several notable women in the course of her duty as a producer in the service of the Federal government. Her interest in broadcasting was informed by her creative writing prowess; she has been very active in creative writing since her undergraduate days, and she has written a few fictional works in form of short stories and novel. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of Short stories. Kemi was also very active in the establishment of the Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA) and she served on its first Executive Council.

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