Abuja – Nigeria’s First Lady Patience Jonathan was on Friday in Abuja re-elected as the President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM).
Jonathan as well as all other regional heads of the mission were unanimously re-elected at the 7th Summit of the AFLPM.
The AFLPM re-elected Mrs Jonathan as its President and she is expected to oversee the affairs of the Mission in West Africa.
The First Lady of Cameroon was re-elected as Vice President (Central African Region), while the First Lady of South Africa retained the post of Vice-President, Southern African Region.
The First Lady of Sudan was re-elected as Vice-President (Eastern African Region); the First Lady of Libya retained the post of Vice-President (Northern African Region); while the First Lady of the Republic of Congo was re-elected as an Ex-Officio executive for a fresh two-year term.
In her acceptance speech, Jonathan thanked all the members of the Mission for the confidence reposed in her and members of her team to continue as AFLPM’s executives.
“It is a great honour for me and our country, Nigeria; this new mandate would further strengthen our resolve to laying a solid foundation for our great organisation.
“We will not relent in our efforts in ensuring that the African First Ladies Peace Mission fulfills its divine responsibility of achieving a lasting peace in Africa.
“Let me appeal to you my dear sisters that all of us owe our spouses support in ensuring that peace, security and total development is achieved in Africa.
“We must all work hard to change the picture of war painted of Africa to that of a peaceful, stable and progressive continent.
“We can still play our part in resolving some of the ongoing conflicts in Africa.’’
Jonathan called on all African women to persuade their husbands, sons and brothers to embrace dialogue and refrain from violence because women suffered most, physically and emotionally, in all conflict situations.
She said that women, as mothers, could no longer afford to sit in their comfort zone and do nothing because the lack of peace and insecurity always affected governance and developmental efforts negatively.
In her closing remarks, the AFLPM President urged members of the Mission to remain committed to the goals set for achieving peace in Africa.
She stressed that the African First Ladies were responsible for shaping the future of the continent, adding that tangible efforts must be made in the peace building process.
“ I want to urge us all to reflect on the programmes and activities we intend to implement as we return home.
“ This is very important because without conscious, clear and thoughtful commitment on our part with regard to efforts to pursue an agenda for peace in Africa, the goals of this summit would have been defeated.
“Therefore, we must work hard for peace promotion as African mothers so that generations yet unborn will be proud of our efforts in making our continent a better place to be.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AFLPM, which aims at promoting peace and harmony in Africa, was established in 1995 after the UN Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
NAN recalls that Nigeria was elected the President of the AFLPM in 2008 and it was then agreed that Nigeria should provide a permanent secretariat for the Mission.
A total of 10 First Ladies attended the summit, while 21 others sent representatives. (NAN)