Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, may have deepened the North/South divide as she has split the Governors Wives’ Forum into North and South.
Mrs. Buhari in a meeting inside the First Lady’s Conference Hall inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja said the forum was restructured into the Northern Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) chaired by Zamfara State governor’s wife, Asma’u Abdul’aziz Yari and the Southern Governors’ Wives Forum chaired by Imo State governor’s wife, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha.
Speaking at the meeting which had the 36 governors’ wives in attendance, Buhari said the two forums would have distinct programmes of activities that would address the peculiar and numerous issues of both regions.
According to her, although the constitution did not provide roles for wives of the president and governors, however, they intend to change the lives of those who needed it.
She listed areas of concern to include widowhood rites, female inheritance rights, female genital mutilation, early marriages, violence against women and children, high maternal mortality as well as women economic empowerment.
She further explained that since as wives and mothers, their roles had always been supportive, their private efforts must be geared towards programmes that would impact positively on the lives of citizens particularly the less privileged members of the society.
She said, “We all know that as wives and mothers, our primary role is supportive. In this regard, our private efforts must be geared towards those programmes and projects that would impact positively on the lives of the citizens particularly the less privileged members of our society. As women, we have the capacity of turning around our socio-economic and political potentials to generally improve the lives of our people. ”
“Those common areas that affect the lives and well-being of women and children of the greatest concern include:
widowhood rites, female inheritance rights, female genital mutilation, early marriages/lack of formal education for the girl-child and in some cases for the boy-child, violence against women and children, women health, women economic empowerment.”
“As you are all aware, the main objective of this meeting is to discuss how to redefine and restructure the Governors Wives’ Forum (GFW) which serves as a platform for supporting our husbands as they struggle to bring about the much-needed change in our society. As wives of political office holders, we must continue to do our best in contributing to the success.
“I believe in our little ways, we can assist them to bring succour to the populace, especially those in need such as victims of insurgency in the northeast and other forms of violence, physically challenges and other vulnerable groups.
It is on this note I felt it is important for us to come together to strengthen our unity and extend our solidarity to each other under a common platform.
“Therefore, we need to develop strong leadership structures in the two regions not only in one as the case with the already known Northern Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) of the country.”