The First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, on Friday, said women have enormous roles to play in driving the nation’s development and transformation efforts.
Mrs Tinubu made this statement in a meeting with the wives of former governors in her office in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
She stated that women must be involved in critical stakeholder activities like assisting the government in promoting the welfare of Nigerians.
She said the wives of former governors, with a sphere of influence within and outside their states, played the roles that could not be looked down upon in nation’s development.
She acknowledged that the former governor’s wives played pivotal roles during the campaign of the election that brought her husband, President Bola Tinubu, to power; therefore, she could not push them aside.
She described the wives of former governors as mothers of nation in their various terrains that she required to work with her and the government in pushing the nation forward.
She stated, “We need them. They were all there during the campaign; we have to make sure they come in to talk about ways forward about the various programmes we have on the table.
“I need them to represent the government and to help me with the job; in spite that the current wives of governors are there, nobody is encroaching on anybody.
“I’m thinking of inviting wives of royal fathers and of religious leaders, too, to work with me in the Renewed Hope Initiative because I believe mothers have big roles to play.
“If we have to heal this country, women have to nurse this country back to life; there are many things going on in the society.”
She said the welfare of people was significant to her, adding that she needed other women to support her in reaching out to the local communities via her national project.
“This is the first time we would have a state of emergency placed on food security and fuel subsidy is also there, I wish we can try to ameliorate the inconvenience all these new reforms are having on people.
“This is why I need the mothers, they are women of substance, and we need them to continue with what they have been doing, even if it is to reach out to the next neighbour, because I can’t get to all households.
“If we cushion whatever inconvenience we are facing now, it will go a long way. This is me going into familiar territories; however, all hands have to be on deck for this country to move forward; that is why I am asking the women for support.”
The wife of the former governor of Ekiti state, Bisi Fayemi, on behalf of the others, appreciated the first lady for stretching her hands of fellowship at them.
“We are here to spend time with our mother, we work together to ensure that our party APC won the election recently, it is important for us to continue to engage women in whatever we do.
“What has been the practice in the past is that when you go through an electoral act, the women do all the hard work and they make sure that the votes count, but after that is done, women are pushed to the margins.
“The first lady has acknowledged that mothers matter, therefore it’s not just about bringing the former wives of governors together, it’s about recognising the power that women have wherever they are in their local communities.
“We cannot achieve our development goal as a nation if we do not invest in the empowerment of women; therefore, we pledge to support our mother, the first lady, in all her works and that of our other sisters in the states.”