By Kenneth Jukpor
A former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the strides of Nkata Ndi Inyom Igbo (NNII), a socio-cultural group focused women development as well as addressing the numerous challenges affecting the nation.
In furtherance of the motto of the socio-cultural group, Nkata Ndi Inyom Igbo (NNII) which is partnering for development, a delegation of the organization led by its President General, Iyom Josephine Anenih paid a courtesy visit to former President Obasanjo at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta over the weekend.
Iyom Josephine Anenih informed Obasanjo that the group came together as women to intervene in the development efforts in not just the region, but the country in general as recent events in the nation have been of concern to the womenfolk.
According to her the burning issues cut across socio-economic issues as well as the increasing levels of insecurity which have exponentially increased the burden for every Nigerian, but had more consequences on women.
She retraced 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.
Noting that traditionally, women are always called in during crises in Igboland and other nations because while men weaponize power, women rebuild and nurture, she recalled the documented roles of the Biblical Debora, Esther, Ruth, Mary Magdalenes and Miriam the sister of Moses that helped hide him in a basket in the river banks and so on.
She said 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 Chief 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 group recalled his 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, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the DG of WTO, Amina Mohammed is Assistant UN Secretary General, Dora Akunyili showed the global community that integrity is still a human virtue not in short supply in Nigerians in public office.
On his part, Obasanjo 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. He said 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 when women come together, good things happen because they often are 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 former President 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.
Meanwhile, the President General of the Nkata Ndi Inyom Igbo thanked the former President and told him 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 is 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 the 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 both our men and other individuals, corporate bodies and agencies for development.
This information was disseminated in a press statement signed by the group’s spokesperson, Nnedinso Ogaziechi.