By Aderonke Ogunleye Bello
Our beloved mother and sister, I congratulate you for a fight well fought and a well deserved victory on your husband’s installation as the Nigerian President.
As a woman, I want to commend you for standing by Mr President and for encouraging him to persevere despite his failed previous attempts at the Presidential polls, as they say, behind every successful man there is a ‘wise’ woman, I am indeed proud of you.
Having said that ma, my appeal is a strange but required issue which has to do with women athletes in Nigeria, I implore you to add these women to the list of those you intend to reach out to in the numerous programs you have set aside to empower the Nigerian women.
As an advocate for women athletes in Africa, permit me to brag to you that most of the Nigerian recent successes in sports came from the women, for example the U-20 women national team did so well last year at the FIFA world Cup, Super Falcons won the African Women Championship in Namibia.
Athletics is however dominated by women like Blessing Okagbare, Ese Brume and so on, However, it has been a case of neglect sometimes and I would love you to come to their rescue.
None of the past wives of Nigerian Presidents has made much impact in the lives of these women, and as a change-mama I suggest you blaze the trail by giving them a major platform in Nigeria. Rightfully, it has been widows, orphans, this time make an addition ‘women athletes’
Super Falcons are in Canada for the FIFA World Cup proudly representing Africa and Nigeria. Ma, it won’t hurt to reach out to them, send them your love and encouragement, this will go far. In four weeks time, the U-20 women’s team will start campaign for the FIFA World Cup next year; also the D’Tigress, the national women basketball team are getting prepared for the African basketball tournament, Afrobasket amongst many other upcoming events, they need your voice, attention and support.
Please remember them as they give their all for the nation, its only appropriate for them to be recognised and be encouraged and not only them but the upcoming athletes in the grassroots should be encouraged and your words will inspire. The effect will be felt by homes and the nation in general which can lead to better future successes in all sports categories. This is what Nigeria has been crying out for.
I wish you a smooth sail and pray to God to give you more wisdom to continue guiding your husband. Sports is an important unity tool which must not be ignored.