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First Lady advises women to seek elective offices


ILORIN – The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, on Thursday in Ilorin advised women in the country to take more active participation in politics and contest political offices.

She gave the advice while launching of the Kwara chapter of the Women for Change and Development Initiative.

Mrs Jonathan said women should take advantage of the 35 per cent affirmative action of President Goodluck Jonathan and contest for more positions during the 2015 general elections.

According to her, gone are the days when the place of women was said to be in the kitchen.

“Our place is no longer in the kitchen; we are out of the kitchen; kitchen is not our profession,” Mrs Jonathan added.

She, however, said that did not mean women would not cook for their husbands, but advised them to join the men folk in the political arena.

The first lady described Nigerian women as intelligent, honest, hardworking and caring, adding that if women should channel these qualities to governance, the nation would be better for it.

She advised them to guard their voter cards jealously as it remained their power, strength and conscience to effect desired political change in the country.

She warned women against selling their cards for peanuts and mortgaging their future and that of their children.

“Don’t sell your card; hold your card well; it is your weapon and conscience,” she added.

Mrs Jonathan noted that her coming to Ilorin testified that Women for Change and Development Initiative was for all women in Nigeria, irrespective of political, religious and social affiliation.

According to her, the empowerment of women in the state is to unleash the economic potentials of women in the country.

The first lady added that the various items distributed was to empower the women economically and improve their livelihood.

She also said that it would afford them the opportunity to adequately take care of their children and bring them up in the ways of God so that they would not derail.

Mrs Jonathan noted that a honest, patriotic, and godly child would shun social vices and work for the peace and progress of the nation.

She said that an income earning mother would stabilise the family, society and the nation at large.

The first lady appealed to Nigerian women to reciprocate President Goodluck Jonathan’s love for the women and vote massively for PDP during the 2015 general elections.

According to her, Nigerian women cannot have it better as the president has done a lot for women in the country.

“Jonathan is the answer and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the answer; Jonathan has given women voice through the 35 per cent affirmative action.”

Various empowerment items were distributed to women in each of the 16 local government areas of the state.

These include wheel barrows, sewing machines, deep freezers, generators, grinding machines, hair dryers, gallon of palm oil, blankets, rice, flour and fertilisers.

The first lady was accompanied by the wives of Kogi, Benue and Cross Rivers governors while that of Kwara received her at the airport.

Others on her entourage were the PDP National Women Leader, Mrs Kema Chikwe; National Coordinator of Women for Change and Development Initiative, Princess Rabi Ibrahim, and Amb. Nimota Ibrahim.

Also some governorship aspirants namely Mr John Dara, Alhaji Jani Ibrahim, Prof Oba Abdulraheem and Alhaji Akeem Lawal attended the event.

The programme was jointly sponsored by the Managing Director, Brights Oil Nig Ltd., Hajia Bola Shagaya, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs,Transparency. (NAN)

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