The wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has appealed to governments at all levels to ensure fair representation of women in appointments.
She made the appeal on Saturday night when she hosted Nigerian women and youths to an appreciation dinner for their support toward her husband’s victory in the last general election.
The dinner held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mrs Buhari expressed concern that the number of elected women in governance had reduced drastically in this new dispensation, saying that National and State Assemblies are the worst hit.
“This is not fair; we are not asking for equal representation but fair representation in governance.
“We must all make case for the fair representation of women and other challenges facing them especially the high rate of divorcees in the North and harmful widowhood practices in some part of the South East”, she said.
The wife of the president expressed regret that the rate of divorce among young women is a major setback, stressing that something has to be done to check the trend.
“Also, the issue of sexual harassment of female students in our tertiary institutions must be checked”.
She called for the speedy implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
Mrs Buhari also dispelled the rumour that she was kept in the purdah (Islamic seculation) by her husband during the last Presidential campaigns.
She said it was her personal decision not to come out for campaign because she needed to take care of the home front while her husband was in the field campaigning.
“It was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who talked me into it before I decided to join the train.
“I have never been in purdah since I got married to my husband.
“My husband is a very gender sensitive man with many daughters.
“He even allowed me to go to school and to cut the long matter short, he is the pillar of my success”.
Also speaking, the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, thanked the women for their support and urged them to continue to promote national unity.
“Nigerians are people with strong faith; we as women must wake up and defend its unity.
“It is time for us to stop fragmenting this country; Nigeria needs something new.
“A new Nigeria means a new you”, Mrs Osinbajo said.
Earlier, the APC Women Leader, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, said that the party leadership must ensure that they deliver on the change they had promised Nigerians.
She said the dinner was meant to appreciate those who made the change possible by touring all parts of the country to campaign for the party’s victory.
The immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who was also the Director-General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Organisation, was the Chairman of the occasion.
Other dignitaries were wife of the President of the Senate, Mrs Toyin Saraki; wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs Gimbia Dogara.
The rest were wife of the National Chairman of the APC, Mrs Victoria Odigie-Oyegun; wives of APC state governors and APC female deputy governors as well as wives of former governors.
The APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was represented at the occasion by Sen. Babafemi Ojudu. (NAN)