The Nigerian First Lady hosted her British guest in Abuja.
Cherie Blair, the wife of a former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on Tuesday lauded Nigerian First Lady, Patience Jonathan’s diplomatic approach and advocacy on enhancing women’s status in the country.
Mrs. Blair said this during a lunch held in her honour on the sidelines of her visit to Nigeria to attend a seminar concerned with equity and capital ventures in Abuja.
She said: “I have seen your leadership style and I commend you for the successes you have achieved in advocating a better life for women. Your dedication and determination have helped women in Nigeria and Africa.
“Your powers of diplomacy are vast and that is clear among African first ladies who have elected you as President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission.
“I am further delighted to be in your presence today because we share similar stories, we share a common interest in the plight of women and the experience of not expecting to be in power.’’
Mrs. Blair said she was delighted at the prospect of working in Nigeria through her Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
She said the more she met the African woman, “the more I’m convinced that the 20th Century is the Century of the African Woman.”
Responding, Mrs. Jonathan expressed appreciation to Mr. Blair for her visit and intimated her of the workings of her two organisations, working for the empowerment of women.
“We have heard of the aid you’re giving to women in Tanzania and other parts of Africa, we appreciate that. I hope that our NGOs will work together to further aid women to be self reliant.
“We believe that when a woman is self-reliant, she can contribute her quota to the nation’s development,’’ Mrs. Jonathan said.
The wife of the Vice-President, Amina Sambo, some female ministers and members of the National Assembly attended the luncheon.
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