Wife of the President. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari was at the weekend presented with UNICEF Special commendation and award of excellence for humanitarian service in recognition of her selfless service to humanity, especially children’s education.
According to a statement issued by the First Lady’s media aide, Suleiman Haruna, Mrs. Buhari’s Future Assured Programme received special mention at the event.
The event, which was part of the Legends for Children campaign, initiated by Blaugrana Sports International in collaboration with the National Center for Women Development to promote children’s Education in Nigeria, held at the International Conference Center, Abuja on Friday March 9, 2018.
Speaking during the award ceremony Mr. Muhammad Malick Fall, the Country Representative of UNICEF, while honouring the awardee, appreciated Mrs. Buhari for her “unending amiable support to the cause of children in Nigeria” and for the important initiatives she has evolved for children, with the most recent one launched during International Women’s Day 2018, “Leave Our Daughters Alone”.
Speaking on the huge burden of out-of-school children, Mr. Fall said Nigeria has a record 10 million of these children and that if Nigeria doesn’t succeed in reversing the trend, sub-Saharan African won’t; he therefore called for leadership from Nigeria, saying that this leadership has been exemplified by wife of the President as well as her compassion and wisdom. He said a combination of Mrs. Buhari and football is sure to draw attention to the problem of children’s education.
Mrs. Gimbiya Dogara, wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who represented Mrs. Buhari at the event expressed gratitude for the recognition given her by UNICEF, promising to do more, not only through advocacy but acting for the good cause of children’s education in Nigeria.
Director General of the National Center for Women Development, Barrister Mary Ekpere-Eta in her speech warned that the Nigerian situation is beyond the capacity of government, advising that attaining the anticipated future has to be a collective responsibility. Getting involved in solving the educational challenges, she added, guarantees a brighter, peaceful, viable and sustainable society. “In the light of this, it is our responsibility to get involved as that is the only way the future is assured.”
Many of Nigeria’s football legends attended the event to identify with the cause of children’s education in Nigeria.
Ministers of the FCT and Foreign Affairs and other senior government officials, many wives of Governors, and captains of industry attended the high octane event.