By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
First Lady of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday expressed her resolve to construct a regional secretariat for the African First Ladies Peace Mission, AFLPM.
The Mission, which was established after the Beijing Conference of 1995, has been in the custody of Nigeria, with leadership rotating among African First Ladies.
The Nigeria’s First Lady in a statement by her Director of Information, Suleman Haruna, disclosed this during a solidarity visit by First Ladies from the states at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
According to her, “I have successfully secured 2.7 hectares of land in Abuja for this purpose and the foundation laying will soon be conducted in the presence of African First Ladies.”
Speaking on the advocacy project for the improvement of maternal and child health, which is supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by Future Assured Programme in partnership with the states First Ladies, Mrs. Buhari said it will come to an end in December 2019.
She used the opportunity to commend the first ladies for the good work they have been doing in their various states, and the successful collaboration they did with Future Assured, calling on the new First Ladies to do the same. She called on them not to succumb to distractions by social media.
Commenting on the videos circulating on social networks, Mrs. Buhari extended her apology to her children, her immediate family members and all well-meaning Nigerians over the embarrassment that the videos had caused.
She expressed appreciation to the President for approving a new set of aides to assist her in carrying out her various responsibilities.
Earlier, First Lady of Borno state, Mrs. Falmata Umara Zulum representing Northern First Ladies Forum and Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, representing Southern First Ladies Forum spoke during the occasion.
Mrs. Zulum said they were at the Villa to welcome her back after a long absence, and expressed their unalloyed loyalty and support to her initiatives especially through the Future Assured Programme, which she said has made her a role model even to other African women.
Mrs. Obaseki on her part said they received news of the First Lady’s return with great excitement, praying God to continue to protect her. She used the opportunity to thank the President for approving additional special assistants for her, saying this is an indication of the regard he has for her work.
The event was attended by wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Maryam Ahmed Lawan and wife of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mrs. Salamatu Gbajabiamila, as well as wives of Governors and wives of Legislators.