It's Mere Semantics To Say There Is No Office Of The First Lady—Pastor Nonnie
Nigeria’s outspoken women rights crusader, Pastor Nonnie Roberson, yesterday added her voice to the presumed scrapping of the office of the First Lady, insisting that it was ‘’mere semantics as the wife of the President remains what she is whether designated a First lady or not.’’
The founder of Nigerian Women in Clergy told newsmen in Abuja yesterday that, “the non-recognition of the First Lady’s office in Nigeria’s political scheme of things is already taking its toll on the family as some husbands have directed their wives to idle away at home since even the President’s wife has no office that keeps her busy”.
Stressing on the importance of the office of the First Lady towards national development, Pastor Nonnie said it is imperative that they perform certain roles and responsibilities,which comes naturally with their position within the office of the Presidency.
She further stated that, “If you perceive that one or two first ladies misbehaved, you will also perceive that some did well. So, there should be no need for taking a drastic action abolishing the office of the First Lady. We shouldn't throw away the baby with the bath water. We notice that they go out of the boundaries. We should find a way to curtail that rather than scrapping the office entirely. Like it or not, there were first ladies who played significant roles with strong and good initiatives”.
She said there are so many social development challenges that need to be immediately addressed.
Nonnie further harped on the need for gender balance in governance, stressing that the women folk has all it takes to contribute immensely to the growth of the country, noting that it would not be out of place for women to get 50 per cent of appointments to 50 per cent of men’s. She insisted that since the last administration had about 35 percent women in the executives and the judiciary representation, “I just pray that the new administration should maintain the thirty five percent or even more”.
According to her, “Many women come naturally endowed with leadership abilities. We are mothers. We have children with different traits and characters. We know how to reach each child and bring the best out of them. From the beginning, we are coded to know how to arrange the world. When God created Adam, he saw that it was not good for him to be alone so he created woman, things became balance. We bring balance; we make things happen. Women add colour.
“Every man has a woman influencing him somewhere: the wife, the mother, the girlfriend. Somewhere, there is a woman doing something. So don’t underestimate the power of the woman. It is not a physical strength. The strongest man in the world can be pulled down by a woman. So if we channel that strength properly, it will do this nation a lot of good. This nation needs the strength of a woman right now,” the crusader said.
Responding to question on whether women in leadership position have performed creditably well, Pastor Nonnie noted that they may not have achieved much, “because there is a wide gap in the ration of men and women in government”. She wondered how the effort of just few women can be compared with those of men in their number.