In furtherance of its motto, partnering for development, a socio-cultural group, Nkata Ndi Inyom Igbo (NNII), a delegation of the organization led by its President General, Iyom Josephine Anenih has paid a courtesy visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
Anenih in her speech informed Obasanjo that the group came together as women to intervene in the development efforts in its region but also the entire country as recent events in the region and the nation have been of concern to the womenfolk.
According to Anenih who was the former Women Leader in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Minister of Women Affairs, the socio-economic issues and the increasing levels of insecurity have exponentially increased the burdens for everyone but more especially for women.
She traced the history of shared leadership structure in Igboland and opined that now that the men have tried to lead alone and seen that it is not working, it is time to go back to the pristine times where there was shared leadership between the genders in ways that were complimentary.
The President General recalled that traditionally women are always called in during crises in Igboland and other nations because while men weaponize power, women rebuild and nurture.
Citing instances in the Bible, she recalled the documented roles of Debora, Esther, Ruth, Mary Magdalene and Miriam the sister of Moses that helped hide him in a basket in the river banks and so on.
The spokesperson of NNII Nnedinso Ogaziechi in a statement made available to Maritime Bits, quoted Anenih saying that the group came to visit the former president because traditionally, “Nkata” in Igbo means conversation/dialogue and it signals the beginning of partnerships in problem-solving and NNII has great confidence that given the status of Obasanjo nationally and globally, the women group believes that his advice and other forms of interventions that he is globally known for can help not just Nkata but the country in this dire times.
The former PDP Women Leader recalled Obasanjo’s support for women during his presidency and how he made the most profound impact by appointing super qualified women into his cabinet and how most of those women have gone on to be great achievers nationally and at the global stage.
“Today Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); Amina Mohammed is Assistant Secretary General in the United Nations (UN); Professor Dora Akunyili showed the global community that integrity is still a human virtue not in short supply in Nigerians in public office.
Obasanjo in his response thanked the group for coming together because he had always believed in the strength and loyalty of women more than men especially in political development.
The former President noted that he was happy that the group is being led by a committed feminist who was his Special Adviser on Women Affairs and whose passion for women and national development is well known.
He advised the group not to give up but to equally sell the beautiful idea of partnering for development with other women in all the six regions in Nigeria because as he put it “when women come together, good things
According to the statement, he argued that because women are often more patriotic and more family-oriented than men. When a women struggles to succeed in any
endevour, it is always to take care of everyone including the men that possibly cause the world’s problems.
The NNII spokesperson quoted Obasnjo saying that he believes that development only happens in a nation that is secure and where justice prevails and as such, every Nigerian must work towards peace and security in the land.
Anenih commended Obasanjo for receiving the group, even as she pointed that NNII is a child of circumstance because the women now want to take their destiny in their own hands given that most Igbo socio-cultural groups like the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo are still perceived as a male ‘only’ group because even the women do not realize that the ‘oha’ in Ohaneze refers to everyone else including women.
“Ironically, even though the organization now has a woman Vice President General and a National Treasurer, they still maintain ‘Women and Youth Wings’ which somewhat make women and the youth nominal members who are not really integrated into its decision making processes.
“Women must use their own voice and as such, members of NNII decided to come together to see how they can partner with our men and other individuals, corporate bodies and agencies for development”, she added.