Chief Temitope Ajayi alias Mama Diaspora was selected to represent the National Council of Women Societies at the ongoing National Conference. In this interview, she talks about the treatment of women by the Jonathan administration and what the Diaspora people are bringing to Nigeria to assist the government in boosting the economy. Excerpts:
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
WHAT has been your experience at the confab so far? Do you think it can change anything in Nigeria?
I strongly believe that the conference is one of the best decisions taken by the President to change the way things have been in this country. It is a decision that is going to take the country to the next level and I am happy that our women have been made part of the history to rewrite the history of this country for the better.
Initially most Nigerians did not believe that we can work together at the conference and bring about the required change but I am very happy that as the days went by, the delegates began to work as members of the same family not minding their religious, ethnic, political and professional differences. I am happy about the progress being made because at the end of the day, the outcome will stabilise Nigeria and move it to the next level in terms of socio-political development.. The vision of Mr. President is certainly going to help us to consolidate our democracy and develop the country. That is the way I see the conference.
Of what use is the conference and how is it going to change things in the country?
It was very timely in my mind for Mr. President to have convoked the conference, which to me is a blessing to the present and future generations of Nigerians because the decisions, which are going to be taken are likely to outlast us and affect the future positively. You can see the plural setting that the confab has created, bringing all Nigerians from all shades to be able to brainstorm on the future of this great country. The kind of dedication and passion that has been brought into this conference is unprecedented and it is like a happy reunion by all the delegates. Partisanship has been removed and the real issues affecting this country thoroughly examined and key decisions taken.
As a female delegate from the NCWS to the conference, do you think that women have been adequately taken care of in Nigeria?
For me I always thank God for what we have in Nigeria. Let us first of all commend the President for what his administration is doing for women in Nigeria and then press for more. If you go down memory lane, you will discover that since amalgamation from Sir Lord Luggard to the present, this is the first time in history that women have been taken seriously and given their pride of place through an Affirmative Action. We are blessed to see the work that is being done for the women through the involvement of the Nigerian First Lady, who has been quietly working to bring the women into the national limelight. Obviously, without trying to sound immodest Mrs. Jonathan means well for the women and we must stand with her to achieve more for the Nigerian women. We are not saying that all has been done for the women but we can say that the present government has done much to lift the womenfolk to a point that we have not disappointed our men. With the quota that this government has given to women, we are in a better position today than we were many years ago and we are going o use that to work harder and achieve better results for this country. What I can say is that we have made progress and when men see more of our strides they will give us more room to achieve more for the nation.
Is Nigeria ripe for a female President?
What I can say is that there is time for everything and with maturity and time and when God says it is time, one day a woman can become the president of Nigeria. That is the only thing I can say for now.
What should the President do to move Nigeria forward as a Nigerian who has seen it all from the Diaspora perspective?
I will want to say that we are proud of him and his achievements so far. The sky is his limit. For me, the slow and the steady win the race. The President knows what he is doing and he is going to win the battle to put Nigeria on a solid pedestal and I urge him to remain firm and do what he is doing to move the nation forward. Nigerians will get to appreciate him better when the results of what he is investing in, begins to yield fruits. The Northern boys should be encouraged by getting big time farmers to build farm settlements for them to end the orgy of insurgency in the country.