The NCWS defends the Abuja women’s rally and Mrs. Jonathan’s presence at the rally.
The National Council of Women Societies on Wednesday said that contrary to media reportage of the just concluded Abuja Women rally, it was not a jamboree.
In a statement signed by the National President of NCWS, Nkechi Mba, the group said there had been several insinuations on the motive of the mega rally of Nigerian women on peace and empowerment in Abuja.
“Several insinuations have been made on the motive and organization of the rally despite the fact that sufficient information was provided in the media through advertorial, news reports and features on the event and its focus.
According to Ms. Mba, “It is unfortunate that some people have chosen to politicize everything and sought to drag the personality of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan into their political cause, and spreading fallacies in pursuit of their malice.”
She said it is important for Nigerians to understand that the NCWS, which was established in 1958, is an umbrella organization for all women bodies in Nigeria. Ms. Mba said each state chapter is funded by the state with the First Lady being the grand patron of the organization.
She said that the women’s rally was held in collaboration with the office of the first lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In the light of this, therefore, the women’s mega rally was held in collaboration with the office of the first lady to give it the mileage we desired, and to God be the glory; the rally was not only successful but also casualty-free,” she said
Ms. Mba said the NCWS organized the road show and rally to draw attention of Nigerians to the imperative for peace in our nation as well as celebrating the unprecedented empowerment of women in Nigeria.
“We note that for the first time in Nigeria, some of our leaders, cutting across political parties have enhanced the positions of women in governance, in consonance with the trend in the empowerment of women across the across the world.
“Between 2011 and 2012, several positive developments were recorded in women empowerment in Nigeria. For instance, women were allowed to join the combatant arm of the army, the first females DIG of Police, the first female Admiral in the Navy, female first Air Vice Marshal in the Air-force, first female Head of Service and first female Chief Justice of the Federation were all appointed,” she said.
Ms. Mba said that those criticizing the rally simply “because the first lady joined us as our grand patron should look further and channel their anger elsewhere; Nigerian women would support anyone or political party that supports their aspirations for quality lives.”
The NCWS said it was an exaggeration “to claim that the women rally shut down Abuja for the whole day. The procession only lasted for about two hours. We also note that there had been several rallies
in Abuja similar to the one of August 15, 2013. Why would the women’s rally generate unnecessary uproar?” she said.