Nigeria’s first lady Aisha Buhari has appealed to Nigerian journalists to engage more with governors’ first ladies to give their projects more visibility.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on media practitioners to engage more with first ladies so that their projects can get more visibility,” Mrs Buhari on Wednesday night in Abuja appealed to journalists at an event organised by the Independent Newspapers to honour governors’ first ladies. “The partnership will be a win-win because the media would then have discharged a part of its social responsibility.”
Mrs Buhari, the special guest of honour at the event, was represented by Aliyu Abdullahi, her media aide.
“I am happy to be at this memorable event, which seeks to recognise the efforts of first ladies in spreading the dividends of democracy. I am particularly happy that some first ladies have been recognised as having excelled in this regard,” she said.
Mrs Aisha added, “It is without a doubt that the media has a pivotal role to play not just setting agenda for discourse, but also in supporting and amplifying worthy causes.”
She further explained that first ladies provided the underbelly of any government as they provide humanitarian, compassionate, and mercy services by organising health, educational, and empowerment projects.
According to her, first ladies help protect vulnerable people, including women, children, youth, and the aged in society.
She said they also had the advantage of providing counsel to the governors and had become advocates for school enrolment and retention, adult education, self-reliance, and health awareness.
The first lady added that first ladies were also advocates against gender-based violence, drug abuse, and trafficking of persons.
“They also provide financial support in terms of scholarships and settlement of medical bills for the under-privileged,” Mrs Buhari noted.
She congratulated the first ladies recognised for the awards at the event, saying that the award will spur them to do more and equally encourage others.
According to her, the award will also open discussions about more partnerships in the country’s overall interest.
Akwa Ibom first lady Martha Udom Emmanuel, Founder of Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Part Initiative, was awarded the South-South First Lady of the year 2021.
Also honoured were the first ladies of Taraba, Anna Darius Ishaku as the 2021 First Lady of the North-East, and Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti for empowering women politically.
The first ladies of Cross River, Kwara, Bauchi, and Osun were also given awards for distinguishing themselves and using their offices as first ladies to advance the less privileged and vulnerable people in society.
In her remarks, Aisha Bala Mohammed, Bauchi’s first lady, tasked mothers to encourage their children through education, especially girls.