Abuja: The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and President, African First Ladies Peace Mission, Dame Patience Jonathan has called for the three arms of Government: the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary in ECOWAS member countries to work together to tackle insurgency.
The First Lady made this call during the courtesy call by members of the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians on 28th May, 2014, in the State House, Abuja.
While describing insurgency as a “Global problem and an evil crime against humanity”, Dame Jonathan maintained that in view of the fact that what affects one country also affects the other; urgent steps must be taken among nations to defeat a common enemy.
She therefore, urged parliamentarians to enact laws that will help Governments at the centre to tackle issues like insurgency.
According to her, “When the laws are weak, there is little the Presidents can do in taking certain actions.”
Dame Jonathan disclosed that the Government of Nigeria is making efforts to ensure the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls by their abductors; explaining that nation-wide prayers have been offered incessantly for their safe return.
The First Lady, who is an ardent promoter of affirmative action, stated that giving legal backing to the modest gains that women have made so far would open new opportunities for them. “There is urgent need for us to emulate many countries that have passed laws adopting quotas for women in decision making positions, as well as national and local Legislative Houses”; she maintained.
While encouraging various countries to invest in improving women’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in order for them to be relevant in the current scheme of things, Dame Jonathan appealed for concerted efforts to combat the negative cultural and social traditional practices that have prevented women from participating in the socio-economic and political life of their respective countries.
In her earlier remarks, Hon. Toungara Aminata, President, ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians (ECOFEPA) commended Dame Jonathan for her leadership role and peace initiatives, especially on the African continent. She said that ECOFEPA members stood side by side with her and sympathized with the nation with respect to the plight of the abducted Chibok girls.