Women Cannot Afford to Fail Africa – First Lady
The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and President, African
First Ladies Peace Mission, Dame (Dr.) Patience Faka Jonathan, has advised
women to support their spouses to promote peace in Africa.
The First Lady gave this charge today when she received the First Lady of
the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mrs. Roman Tesfaye Abneh, who paid a
courtesy call on her in the State House Abuja.
Dame Jonathan lamented that valuable lives are lost annually to armed
conflicts in Africa. She said that this adversely affects the human
resources needed for development across the continent. She therefore
appealed that promoting peace efforts, must be taken with upmost
seriousness if the region is to reverse the scourge of armed conflicts and
also stem insurgent activities.
The First Lady pointed out that one of the underlying factors that
precipitate conflict is the failure of individuals and groups to manage
and resolve differences amicably. She advised women to always promote
dialogue as a means of settling disputes, cautioning that, women cannot
afford to fail, as they must ensure that the African continent is free
She therefore called on African First Ladies to continue to intensify
peace initiatives in their regions, under the auspices of the
organization of the African First Ladies Peace Mission.
She said, “It is high time for us as African First Ladies to take this
peace initiative very seriously because what affects one nation affects
the other. If we fail, we have failed our region, continent and the
Dame Jonathan also used the occasion to commend the First Lady of Ethiopia
on her women empowerment initiatives, as well as her efforts on HIV/AIDS
and cancer prevention, across communities in Ethiopia.
Speaking earlier, Mrs. Roman Abneh, observed that there was a lot to learn
from Nigeria on women mobilization and empowerment. She described Dame
Jonathan as a “role model,” especially in these two areas. Mrs. Abneh,
also lauded Dame Jonathan's contributions to the Organization of African
First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) and most especially, for her
programmes promoting peace across the region. While highlighting her own
programmes on the prevention of cancer and HIV, promotion of good
nutrition and primary education, the Ethiopian First Lady said she was
willing to explore areas of collaboration with Dame Jonathan in these