Abuja - The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has lauded Governor Martins Elechi of Ebonyi for achieving 30 per cent affirmative action for women in the state.
Jonathan made the commendation when a delegation of women from Ebonyi led by the governor’s wife, Josephine Elechi, visited the State House in Abuja on Monday.
"It is worthy of note that Ebonyi is one of the states that has passed a bill on inclusion of women in government.
"As he has demonstrated confidence in the capacity of women to serve in his government, I urge him to also encourage them in every way possible to vie for elective positions either at state or national level come 2015," she said.
She appealed to women to come together, be supportive of one another and ensured that the 35 per cent Affirmative Action bill was passed into law by the National Assembly.
"We should also strive to apply our inborn qualities as home-makers to act as bridge-builders and peace ambassadors at all times,” the first lady said.
Jonathan, however, urged Nigerian women to continue to act as agents of positive change in any capacity they found themselves.
She commended the efforts of Elechi for championing the campaign against child labour, trafficking, teenage pregnancy and other forms of maltreatment against children.
Earlier, the governor’s wife assured Jonathan that empowerment of women remained the cardinal objective of her leadership.
Elechi said that it had afforded Ebonyi women the opportunity to occupy various positions of responsibility.
"May I on behalf of our women assure you that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that your efforts at according Nigerian women a place of pride in the socio-political and economic sphere of the nation yield good results."
Part of the delegation included four women from the House of Assembly, one head of service and two local government chairpersons.
The others were six permanent secretaries, eight board members, 26 councillors, eight coordinators, currently serving in the governor’s cabinet.
On a related development, a delegation from the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) was at the villa on a solidarity visit.
The first lady thanked the council for its support to the present administration.
"The president is the number one advocate for women empowerment in Nigeria as his government has shown very strong commitment to appointing women to oversee important functions in the nation,” she said.
Jonathan expressed satisfaction with the performance of women holding various political positions in the country, adding that they had not failed the country.
The NCWS National President, Nkechi Mba, commended the first lady for empowering women in the country politically and economically.
"We, Nigerian women, are conscious of your immense contribution toward women empowerment and we are proud of you,” Mba said.
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