Photo: The late Mrs Maryam Babangida
IBB’s family applauds FG over NCWD renaming after late matriarch
Former military president Ibrahim Babangida’s family has thanked the Federal Government’s decision to rename the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja, after their matriarch, late Maryam, who established it.
Alhaji Mohammed Babangida, first son of the deceased former First Lady, relayed the family’s gratitude on Tuesday in Abuja during the official renaming ceremony.
Current First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, performed the ceremony.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill for the change of name was passed by the Senate on March 29, 2023, while the House of Representatives passed the same on April 5, 2023.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari later assented to the bill that amended the NCWD Act, Cap. N15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Babangida described his late mother as a visionary woman with a strong passion for the upliftment of women from all strata of life.
He said Maryam also stood for gender equality.
“As a family, we greatly appreciate the renaming of the NCWD after our mother.
“I will like to thank the First Lady for being here and being part of this journey.
“You started this in the Senate and here you are today, unveiling this in honour of our mother. We pray God to give you the strength to take this country to greater heights.
“Out late mother, Dr Maryam Babangida, was a visionary woman with a strong passion for the upliftment of women from all strata of life.
“Her commitment towards the attainment of gender equality knew no bounds. She kept it, she acted it and she worked for it.”
Babangida noted that it was the vision, passion and commitment of his mother that motivated her to construct the edifice.
“We are happy that it has become a hub for gender equality.
“This is a legacy that the family is very proud of and also a legacy which the Nigerian and African women are proud of as well.
“It is an established fact that women play a very vital role in the development of any country; any country that is desirous of any development must factor in women and carry them along,” he said.
“This was the dream of our mother, who worked tirelessly in ensuring that every girl child had a voice, every woman had an opportunity and, in particular, every rural woman had a better life.
“This is the dream of our mother who worked tirelessly with the dogged commitment toward ensuring that every girl-child had a place, every woman had an opportunity and, in particular, every rural woman had a better life.
“There is nothing that is more powerful than a woman who is determined to rise.
“All the women here have distinguished themselves in one way or the other and have risen in their various callings. We hope that all the women will continue to rise for the development of this nation, Nigeria,” Banbangida added.
Earlier in her remark, the First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, had lauded the sterling contributions of late Mrs Babangida on the lives of ordinary Nigerians and described her as a matriarch who improved the living standard of rural women
“The late Maryam was an icon who redefined the scope of women’s participation in national development and, through her pet programme, Better Life for Rural Dwellers, touched ordinary lives, especially in the rural areas.
“I am happy that I was part of the Ninth National Assembly Senate, when the bill for the renaming of the centre was passed and assented into law,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Mrs Pauline Tallen, former Minister of Women Affairs during whose tenure the bill for renaming the centre after Mrs Babangida was passed, said that she felt fulfilled as Maryam Babangida was being celebrated.
Tallen recalled that she was a pioneer proponent of the Better Life for Rural Women Programme founded by the deceased First Lady, saying she started as a Councilor in her Shendam locality in 1986, “based on a directive from above”.
She expressed appreciation to former President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the bill for renaming the centre before leaving the office.
“We are gathered here to rename this edifice and immortalise that great woman who initiated it to give us a voice.
“May we keep celebrating all those who have left their marks on the sands of time,” she said.
Also, Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, Director-General of the centre, said the centre was renamed in recognition of her significant contributions and dedication to women’s development.
“The renaming stands as a symbolic gesture that acknowledges and honours the tremendous efforts and contributions of Maryam Babangida in promoting women’s rights and empowerment in Nigeria, which forms the basis for our continuous advocacy,” she said.
She also reaffirmed the centre’s commitment towards supporting the first lady’s Renewed Hope Initiative which resonates with (NCWD)’s mandate. (NAN) www.nannews.ng