Nigeria’s First Lady and President, African First Ladies Peace Mission, Mrs. Patience Faka Jonathan, has called for the three arms of government; the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, in ECOWAS member countries, to work together to tackle insurgency.
The First Lady made this call during the courtesy call by members of the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians on Wednesday in the State House Abuja.
Describing insurgency as a “global problem and an evil crime against humanity,” Dame Jonathan maintained that in view of the fact that what affects one country also affects the other; urgent steps must be taken among nations to defeat a common enemy.
She therefore urged parliamentarians to enact laws that will help governments at the centre to tackle issues like insurgency. According to her, “When the laws are weak, there is little the presidents can do in taking certain actions.” She also advocated for legislative instruments that will empower presidents to take actions deemed necessary in the interest of countries, and be backed by law.
Mrs. Jonathan disclosed that the government of Nigeria is making efforts to ensure the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls, by their abductors, explaining that nation-wide prayers have been offered incessantly for their safe return.
The First Lady, who is an ardent promoter of affirmative action, stated that giving legal backing to the modest gains that women have made so far would open new opportunities for them. “There is urgent need for us to emulate many countries that have passed laws adopting quotas for women in decision making positions, as well as National and Local Legislative Houses.” She maintained.
While encouraging various countries to invest in improving women’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in order for them to be relevant in the current scheme of things, Dame Jonathan appealed for concerted efforts to combat the negative cultural and social traditional practices that have prevented women from participating in the socio-economic and political life of their respective countries.
In her earlier remarks Hon. Toungara Aminata, President, ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians (ECOFEPA) commended Dame Jonathan for her leadership role and peace initiatives, especially on the African continent. She said that ECOFEPA members stood side by side with her and sympathized with the nation with respect to the flight of the abducted Chibok girls.