By Emmanuel Aziken
Mrs. Maryam Babangida was Sunday mourned for her positive contributions in the empowerment of Nigerian women with both male and female Senators affirming that her glamour and style lifted the confidence of Nigerian women.
While Senator Chris Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East) lauded her for bringing beauty and brain in the exercise of power, Senator Joy Emodi, chairman of the Senate committee on Education praised the positive influence of the former first lady in the nationâ€™s education sector saying that she ran one of the best private schools in the country until her death.
Other Senators who commented on the death of the former first lady were Senators Dahiru Kuta (PDP, Niger East) who represents her husbandâ€™s constituency and Senator Patrick Osakwe (PDP, Delta North) who represents her fatherâ€™s constituency.
I am really saddened by the death. She proved herself to be a sister to us especially as she proved herself as a great lover of education through her practical involvement in the education of the younger ones. Mrs. Babangida of course is remembered by most Nigerians for the way she touched the lives of Nigerian women through her Better Life for Rural Women as the programme impacted the lives of many women for good. Through that programme a number of women were empowered and lifted from their toils.
Yes, she left a lot of marks among the rural women but for us in the education sector we will remember her today and always for the way she touched the sector as she ran one of the best private primary and secondary schools in the country and that was why we invited her during our education summit. We benefited from her involvement as she brought not only glamour but intellectual impact to that summit.
Senator Chris Anyanwu:
What a loss. What a woman. She moved women away from the role of hand clappers, praise singers and entertainers of men while they exercised power to active participants in governance. And whatever she did in support of her husbandâ€™s administration of state;Â whatever role she played, she left a very fine touch. Maryam gave Nigerian women group confidence to raise voices in their group interest. She pioneered the concept of equipping rural women for better life, something that has now caught on with all levels of government.
Maryam was a package of beauty and grace and class in the exercise of power. She was a positive touch bearer for first ladies and women operating in the corridors of power. She was an awesome woman.
On behalf of my family and the good people of Imo East, I condole his Excellency, President Ibrahim Babangida, his family and the entire people of Nigeria.
Senator Patrick Osakwe:
It is a big loss, a very big loss to the nation. She played her part but Godâ€™s time is the best so we pray for the repose of her soul.
Senator Dahiru Kuta:
She was a great woman of Africa and she has left a very serious vacuum, she was a lover of rural women she tried to improve the quality of life of our rural women. She was a pilar to her husband, a great woman of honour, very accommodating. We are going to miss her a lot and it is a great loss to all of us. It was shocking.