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By Emeka Oraetoka

Research on the life and time of past First Ladies in the world shows that MAMA PEACE of Africa belongs to the class of revered first ladies in terms of toiling  for the less privileged in the society. Worthy of mentioning here are, Evita Peron of Argentina and Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States of America. While Eleanor Roosevelt was famous for her work and toil for human rights and women emancipation, Evita Peron was famous with her passion for the poor of the poorest in Argentina.

Dame Patience Jonathan combines the two attributes of the above mentioned first ladies and in addition, her toil for the down trodden laced with massage of PEACE stands her out in the pack. Remarkably, Dame Patience Jonathan and Eleanor Roosevelt share one thing in common; both women were former State First Ladies. While Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a former New York State Governor, Dr. Good-luck Jonathan was a former Bayelsa State Governor. Nigeria?s first lady Aruera Reach-out Heart Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization [NGO] committed to the health needs of children from poor background and orphans, has done extremely well. In Nigeria alone, many children from less privileged backgrounds are said to have benefited from this wonderful Foundation.

Although both Eleanor Roosevelt and Evita Peron championed the right and emancipation of women in their repetitive Countries with small degree of success, through relentless toil, Dame Patience Jonathan has ensured that the right of women in Nigeria remains cardinal in her foundation. The result is almost 50% participation of women in President Good-luck Jonathan?s administration. The task before MAMA PEACE therefore is for her to push for a comprehensive legislation towards improving the lives of the downtrodden in Nigeria, at the National Assembly [NASS]. Once Dame Patience Jonathan pushes through a legislation that will ensure legislated sources of funding for the upkeep of Nigeria widows and orphans, through a Foundation dedicated to Nigeria First Ladies only, that should come on stream under her First-ladyship; she would have succeeded in writing her name in both Gold and Diamond.

Worthy of mentioning here is what happened at Ekwueme square in Awka on the 4th of October 4, 2014, where Dame Patience Jonathan?s  NGO, Women for Change and Development Initiative in conjunction with 4J an NGO committed to the second term ambition of President Good-luck Jonathan, led by Prince Arthur Eze [OzoIgbondu]; spoke volumes of MAMA PEACE?s heart of gold. The occasion was an opportunity to put smiles on the faces of widows in the Southeast region. More than twenty thousand [20,000] widows that came to the venue were made to smile home for the first time after the demise of their husbands, mostly victims of the civil war. The widows benefited from empowerment items and stomach infrastructure items. Report has it that many of them shed tears of joy when they were presented with sewing machines and grinding machines. Dame Patience massage to the widows at the occasion was the need for the widows to work towards PEACEs wherever they find themselves. Report suggests MAMA PEACE is visiting other Geo-political zones to touch the lives of widows.

There is clear evidence from Dame Patience toil for the poor in Nigeria that she shares the same heart of gold attribute with Eleanor Roosevelt. This comment about Eleanor?s toil seeks to support the evidence: ? ?Throughout Franklin?s first 100 days, she used her influence in the Democratic National Committee to urge the administration to appoint women to influential positions in New Deal programs. Rather than jump behind New Deal programs, she waited to see how they were implemented and made suggestions for improvements and alternatives and pushed hard to have oversights addressed, such as the plight of unemployed women and youth. Throughout her husband?s presidency, she traveled extensively, visiting relief projects, observing working and living conditions, and providing Franklin and the administration with her findings??. Suffice it to say that MAMA PEACE has through her relentless advocacy ensured near 50% of women participation in the current government.

Nigeria?s first lady?s Women for Change and Development Initiative, has done a lot for the down trodden via her toil in the last three and half years of her first-ladyship. The most significant of Dame Patience Jonathan?s toil for the poor is her crusade for Peace in Nigeria and the world in general. Her believe that in time of war or crisis, children and women are the most venerable in the society and so, whatever is needful most be done to ensure peace at all times, is one cardinal position she has not deviated from. She appears to be driving home this message of peace with the totality of her being. The insecurity in some part of Northeastern part of Nigeria has been a source of concern to her. Apart from the relief materials she sent to the people affected by the insurgency, who are mostly women and children, she is constantly drumming it on the ears of mothers to ensure that their wards are constantly monitored to prevent them from falling into the hands of evil people. Who knows MAMA PEACE may be the world first recipient of Nobel Prize on Peace as First Lady between now and 2019, if God wishes.

Emeka Oraetoka.

Information Management Consultant& Researcher

Wrote in from Garki-Abuja

e-mail:[email protected]

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