Abuja Women’s Rally Was Not A Jamboree – NCWS

patience_jonathan_rallyThe National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) has debunked what it termed some misinformation in the media about the recently held mega rally of Nigerian women on peace and empowerment in Abuja.

NCWS National President,Mrs Nkechi Mba said Several insinuations have been made on the motive and organization of the rally despite the fact that sufficient information was provided in the media through advertorial, news reports and features on the event and its focus.

“It is unfortunate that some people have chosen to politicise everything and sought to drag the personality of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan into their political cause, and spreading fallacies in pursuit of their malice.

“It is important for all to understand that the NCWS is an umbrella organization for all women bodies in Nigeria established in 1958 and statutorily, each state chapter is funded by the state government as a registered non-governmental organization, just as the First Lady is the grand patron of the organization.

“In the light of this, therefore, the women’s mega rally was held in collaboration with the office of the first lady to give it the mileage we desired, and to God be the glory, the rally was not only successful but casualty-free.

Contrary to the claims in some quarters, the NCWS organized the road show and rally to draw attention of Nigerians to the imperative for peace in our nation as well as celebrating the unprecedented empowerment of women in Nigeria,the president said adding , “We note that for the first time in Nigeria, some of our leaders, cutting across political parties have enhanced the positions of women in governance, in consonance with the trend in the empowerment of women across the across the world.

“Between 2011 and 2012, several positive developments were recorded in women empowerment in Nigeria. For instance, women were allowed to join the combatant arm of the army, the first female DIG of Police, the first female Admiral in the Navy, female first Air Vice Marshal in the Air-force, first female Head of Service and first female Chief Justice of the Federation were all appointed.

“In addition, several women were appointed into state executive councils, while female chief judges and heads of parastatals were appointed across the states of the federation. Things have never been this good for the Nigerian woman.

Mba said “It was definitely not our concern whether certain individuals or parties turned out to be champions of these milestones recorded in women empowerment; we simply came out as Nigerian women to applaud these by way of road show and rally. The huge attendance by women from all parts of Nigeria, irrespective of tribes, religions and party affiliations, showed that this was a movement of Nigerian women.

“Those criticising the rally simply because the first lady joined us as our grand patron should look further and channel their anger elsewhere; Nigerian women would support anyone or political party that supports their aspirations for quality lives.

The NCWS president said “ it is purely an exaggeration that the women rally shut down Abuja for the whole day. The procession only lasted for about two hours and traffic was never held up unduly. We also note that there had been several rallies in Abuja during which sections of the roads were closed to traffic; why would the women’s rally generate unnecessary uproar?

“Those who think this is a jamboree should also think well. The era of taking the women for granted is definitely over. We should learn to respect our women, after all every man has a mother, wife, sister or daughter, and would not wish her consigned to slavery forever.

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