Wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has appealed to perpetrators of abductions and various harmful practices against women and girls to stop such unwholesome activities.
According to a statement by her director of information, Suleiman Haruna, she made the comment yesterday during an event to mark the 2018 International Women’s Day at the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja.
Mrs Buhari observed that, for Nigeria, the day must be marked with a difference considering the sad incidence of the abduction of girls, especially the case of Chibok and Dapchi, which must take the national spotlight.
“As a mother, I share the sorrow and agony of the parents at this time. It is my sincere hope that efforts by government will soon lead to their release.” She said.
She introduced a local theme tagged “Leave our daughters alone” which, she said, is a strong call for the end of abductions, urging the media to own the campaign and spread the message.
She also encouraged wives of the governors to propagate the campaign in their various states, stating that the message must echo throughout Nigeria.
“Leave our daughters alone, leave our daughters alone, leave our daughters alone,” she told the abductors.
Speaking earlier, wife of the vice president, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, congratulated women as they celebrated the special day, but lamented that Nigerian women were witnessing the worst of times because of many negative things happening to them.
She, however, noted that at the same time, they are also witnessing the best of times in many respects, as there are many good stories happening around women.
The director-general, National Centre for Women Development, Barrister Mary Ekpere-Eta, remarked that, this year, there was an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.
She said sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women had captured public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change, which she noted were instrumental to the call by Aisha Buhari for an end to harmful practices affecting women and girls in Nigeria.
She drew attention to the plight of rural women who, despite their hard work, lack basic infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
She called for urgent action to reverse this trend and ensure better life for rural women.
Goodwill messages were delivered by UNICEF, UN Women, UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and a host of others.
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