The wrappers are expected be sown and worn as general ceremonial wears ‘aso-ebi’ by various women groups that would partake in the May 29 celebrations. The federal government has already declared the day a public holiday in Nigeria.
Some of the women groups that benefitted from the ‘aso-ebi’ largesse, whose source of funding was not stated, include Market Women and Men Association, National Association of Women Journalists, and Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Represented by Kema Chikwe, the National Women Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mrs. Jonathan also used the opportunity to encourage women to promote peace in Nigeria saying Nigeria has grown to become one of the most promising democracies in the world.
“The celebration of Democracy Day is significant to Nigerians because it has restored dignity to the people,” the first lady said.
“Democracy has also given Nigerians a strong voice in decision making within the context of governance of our nation whereby our desires and opinion are reckoned with in the process of development.
“It is therefore a thing of joy that the country has grown as one of the most promising democracies of the World,” she added.
Mrs. Jonathan said the government is making efforts to ensure that Nigeria is peaceful, united and an independent nation, in spite of the many challenges facing the country. She urged women to be engaged in activities that would promote the unity of the country, and to contribute their quota, “no matter how little”, to make Nigeria a better place.
Also, Jake Epelle of the Albino Foundation presented a world report on Albinism to the First Lady.
Chioma Joseph, an albino, who presented a portrait to the first lady, said the presentation was in recognition of Mrs. Jonathan’s love for albinos.
Samuel Kehinde, who spoke on behalf of people ‘Living with Disabilities’, appealed to the first lady to ‘discuss’ with President Goodluck Jonathan to ascent to the bill on people living with disabilities.
In her vote of thanks, the president of the Nigerian federation of women lawyers, Hauwa Shekarau, described the president’s wife as a “motivator who constantly encourages and carries all women along in everything she does.”
“But like all humans, we want more. We have more women in power, we want more. We have more women in governance, we want more; we will continue to seek for more,” she said.