Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged African First Ladies to summon courage to speak out against abuses in the continent to promote peace and stability.
President Jonathan, who declared open the African First Ladies Peace Mission, AFLPM, in Abuja, Thursday, expressed optimism that soon, Nigeria will produce its first set of female service chiefs.
According to him, the recent re-admittance of women into the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, to train to become combatant soldiers was an indication of the Federal Government’s commitment to uplifting the fortunes of women.
According to him, “for the first time, we admitted women into the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy to prepare women as full combatants in the Army, Navy and Air Force.
“We have admitted women now into NDA and we are hopeful that in few years to come, a woman could be Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff or even Chief of Defence Staff.
“We have commenced the journey and we’ll get there. I just listened to my sister, Banda, who advocated women to grow to be heads of their armed forces.”
He said as women and mothers, women had the power “to control the gladiators that cause conflict in Africa and being mothers can control the youth used for violence”.
He pledged that his administration remained resolute in the implementation of policies on effective representation of women in all aspects of governance.
“I urge you all to encourage governments to implement existing international legal frameworks that promote peace, security and human development.
“It must also summon the will to speak up wherever and whenever these frameworks are abused. But the task is not for you alone, raising the standards of survival in Africa is a collective task,” the president said.