Updated: February 25, 2021
Wife of the Nigerian President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, is pledging more things for women and children, even as her husband seeks another term in office in just months.
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
Mrs Buhari made her latest pledge in Abuja on Saturday during an event to mark the third anniversary of Future Assured Program, her pet project as First Lady.
In a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington, a spokesman said Mrs Buhari was happy the program “has made such giant strides in such a short time, and thanked partners that have made it possible”.
She spoke about the program’s engagement in addressing the deteriorating health status of women, youth and children and its work to reduce the rate of maternal, neonatal and child mortality.
She quoted nutrition, lack of health education, lack of clean drinking water and poverty as some of the culprits.
She said her project was working hard to provide clean drinking water, nutrition supplements and health screening exercises against killer diseases like breast and cervical cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and hypertension in many parts of the country.
It’s not certain how long she still has to drive the project as Nigerians go to the polls in February to elect new leaders, including the President, and observers are predicting that he would be defeated by Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President.
Speaking on her program’s involvement in empowerment, Mrs. Buhari said poverty had to be tackled through deliberate programs to develop entrepreneurial skills and provide women and youth with working tools. She mentioned rice mills, fish dryers, and groundnut extruders as well as grinding mills, sewing machines, rickshaws and spaghetti makers.
Mrs Buhari also spoke on the effort of the program in the protection of human rights of women and children against abuse, violence and rape as well as supporting surgeries and advocacy on conditions like intersex and hydrocephalus.
Mrs Buhari said the event recognizes that many Nigerians “are working to change lives like the programme is doing and need to be emulated. Some of those recognized and honoured include DCP Abba Kyari, a police officer, for uncommon dedication to duty, Ruona Meyer, a journalist for producing a documentary on Codeine, leading to its ban, Tobore Ovuorie, for her report on human trafficking. Corporate organizations like FlexiSAF Foundation were also honoured for innovation and social service.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Federal Ministry of Health, UNFPA and Friesland Campina.
The event was attended by wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, government officials, wives of State Governors and members of the Diplomatic Corp.