By Prudence Arobani
The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has been conferred with Distinguished Global Award for Excellence in Women Empowerment and Gender Development by Global Empowerment Movement Corporation, U.S.
Buhari was also conferred with the Honorary Citizen of Georgia Award from the State of Georgia.
She received the awards at the Nigeria House in New York for her efforts at fighting gender-based victimisation, human trafficking and for uplifting the women in Nigeria.
Founder and President of the organisation, Dr Blessing Itua, said the organisation particularly commended Mrs Buhari for advancing the causes of women and children in Nigeria through her pet project: ‘Future Assured’.
“Mrs Aisha Buhari, through her various programmes on women, young girls and children support, has assisted, integrated and provided hope to numerous victims of some of the societal ills in Nigeria, including human trafficking.
“Mrs Buhari, through her pet project, ‘Future Assured’, campaigns for women and girl-child education, empowerment and commitment to improving the lives of the people she serves.
“She has also been a strong advocate against victimisation, inhumanity, including the rape of minors.
“Within this context, she has complimented government’s various initiatives by teaming up with relevant stakeholders in Nigeria and beyond to address some feminine challenges in the country,” Itua said.
Receiving the awards, the wife of the president thanked the organisation for considering her worthy of recognition for the award on fighting gender-based victimisation and uplifting womenfolk in Nigeria through the Future Assured programme.
“My driving force has been that of commitment and passion in this regard. Women have been at the receiving end of conflict, instances of abuse and victimisation all over the globe.
“I make it my responsibility to do the very best I can to give hope to those affected and to discourage other cases from happening in Nigeria.
“As you are all aware, my Future Assured initiative executes a number of programmes to uplift the status of women through health advocacy and support economic and educational empowerment, protection against abuse and encouraging political involvement among the women.
“Our hope is that women will become more aware of the opportunities open to them to live better lives while being confident of the society’s protection,” Buhari said.
She dedicated the award to “all struggling women and hope that the award will ginger more action in the area of protection against gender bias and victimisation and uplifting the lives of women all over the world.”
Buhari said that the First Lady of The Gambia had adopted the Future Assured to be replicated in her country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, testified about the work the Future Assured had been doing, especially in the north east, and congratulated the wife of the president for the recognition.
Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, while commenting on the menace of human trafficking, said “Nigerians are people who admit to our problems and we are starting to address them’’.
“Nigeria has what it takes to do what is right and to take its rightful place among the comity of nations.
“In the U.S., great things are happening though Nigerians; Nigerians are doing great works here. There are things they are not happy about just like those at home in Nigeria.
“But we are doing everything possible to address them. This will involve international cooperation,” the envoy said.
He commended the wife of the president for coming to the Nigeria House, adding “this is Nigeria House and we are very happy to do what is right here”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the occasion was attended by the First Ladies of The Gambia, Niger, wives of governors, heads of agencies and associates of the wife of the president, among others.