First Lady, Patience Jonathan Urges Constitutional backing for Affirmative Action

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The First Lady, Dame (Dr) Patience Goodluck Jonathan, has appealed to the National Assembly for the 35% appointment of women into elective and appointive positions to be backed by law.

The First Lady made this plea when female Nigerian Ambassadors and High Commissioners paid her a visit in the State House, Abuja. On the occasion, Dame Patience reiterated her unwavering commitment to the welfare of Nigerian women and urged them to unite, work together and support one another for their advancement.

Dame Patience disclosed during the visit that the funeral of her mother, Mrs. Charity Oba, popularly called Mama Sisi, would take place from October 31, to November 1, 2013. She recalled that the passing away of her mother has created a vacuum and has made her to realize how important mothers are. She observed that a mother is truly supreme. Dame Jonathan described her mother as a calm, quiet, kind and hard working person who showered affection on her and especially on her grandchildren as well as on those around her. The First Lady added philosophically, 'We cannot question the will of God.' She remarked that otherwise, she would have asked, 'Why did her mother have to pass away now, when she needed her most?'

Speaking earlier, Professor Joy Ogwu, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (UN) noted that the visit was first, to pay condolences to the First Lady on the loss of her mother. She said that the consolation is that the spirit of departed parents lives on.

Professor Ogwu informed that the visit was also to thank the First Lady for taking up the mantel of mobilizing all Nigerian women and being champion of theirĀ  empowerment. The Permanent Representative noted that this would be the First Lady's lasting legacy to the development of Nigeria.

Nigerian female Ambassadors and High Commissioners present at the occasion included those accredited to the Royal Kingdom of Netherlands, Senegal & Mauritius; Zambia, Spain, Singapore, Rome and Venezuela.