From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called on political leaders to tackle the reoccurring development deficits in the country by paying particular attention to them of they want a place in the history of the nation.
This is even as Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that issue the various intervention programmes of the Buhari administration since 2015 to date are designed and implemented in order to improve the health, education and socio-economic conditions of the Nigerian people, especially women, children and youths.
Both of them spoke at the 6th anniversary of Future Assured, her pet project, at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja on Thursday 21st October 2021.
According to Mrs Buhari, it is possible to achieve a turnaround on the negative health outcomes and the persistent rates of morbidity and mortality especially as they affect women if concerted efforts are made by all stakeholders.
She commended development partners and other stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental for their effort, time, and other resources in Future Assured.
She also called on them not to relent, saying “Your commitment and support to Future Assured remains important in deepening collective commitment and investment to the development of this country”.
She thanked the Vice President and his wife as well as past and present governors and their wives for their untiring support to the Aisha Buhari Foundation and Future Assured. She further stated that Future Assured has made a lot of progress in the areas of health and nutrition, girl-child education, and women and youth empowerment; and “while this event was meant to inspire others, we anticipate feedback for more sustainable action in the future”.
Osinbajo who commended the passion and the excellent work of the First Lady for women and under-privileged Nigerians, noted that the spirit and letter of ‘Future Assured’ fit with the government’s policy on social investment, from which millions of Nigerians have benefitted, most of them women. He also noted other interventions of government in the area of discouraging child marriages and encouraging more girl-child school admission.
In his goodwill remarks, Minister of Health, Prof. Osagie Ehanire, said that the Ministry has in the last 6 years collaborated with the Future Assured programme on numerous fronts, especially the RMNCAH+N, enjoying tremendous support from the First Lady in driving health sector initiatives. He recalled many instances of her personal sacrifice, including, when she repurposed a large hotel into a hospital within a few weeks to serve as a treatment center for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Country Representative of World Health Organization, Dr. Walter Mulombo, who spoke on behalf of the UN agencies, also commended the First Lady for the productive partnerships she entered into with various arms of the UN through the Future Assured and agreed that she has set good examples for other leaders to follow.
The event was attended by Executive Governors, Ministers, Traditional Leaders, Captains of Industry, Leaderships of both International and Local NGOs, various Women and Youth groups.