The First Lady who gave the exhort on Wednesday, 1st Febuary in Abuja, while proclaiming open a withdraw composed by the National Institute for Legislative Studies for the official’s spouses, said “as wives of political office holders, ladies have the obligation to help their husbands succeed.
Mrs Buhari spoke to by Mrs Grace Chama, said as mums and good examples, the ladies ought to bolster their spouses to convey on their political duties.
She informed the spouses concerning legislators to utilize the open door offered by the withdraw to rub minds on how best to bolster their “husbands and make them more enthusiastic and profitable” In his message at the withdraw, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara educated the House regarding Representatives wives to familiarize themselves with administrative and political work of their husbands.
He said, “I want to also advise that apart from acquainting yourselves with the legislative and political work of your spouses, it would do great justice to the image of this association if you also concentrate on issues concerning children, gender, community and humanitarian activities.
“You have a great role to play in keeping our families together for a well organised family is the bedrock of any society. Indeed, behind every terrorist, armed robber, social deviant is someone who lacks parental care and attention. So you can play an important role in the security and wellbeing of our nation.”
“In order to avoid discrimination against persons based on gender as outlawed by our Constitution, I have a few suggestions to make. Firstly, I wish to respectfully suggest a change of name from House of Representatives Wives Association (HORMWA) to House of Representatives Spouses Association (HORMSA). “The reason is very simple. It is not only men that are represented in the House.
It is patently discriminatory of our female colleagues in the House as their spouses have no similar Association.
“We must bear in mind that we have even had a female Speaker of the House of Representatives, in the person of Her Excellency, Rt. Hon. (Mrs) Patricia Etteh, I have support for this proposition in the practices of other nations of the world. Examples can be found in the Philippines House of Representatives and even in the United States Congress, among others.”
“The influence of spouses particularly women cannot be underestimated”, the Speaker said. “Most often he or she is the only person that you talk to when you come back from work. It is therefore of critical importance that your spouse is knowledgeable on what goes on in the House and even on current affairs of State.”
“Let me tell you a story. The Congressional Club, USA which is similar to your association was founded in 1908. The first President of the Club, Mrs. James B. Perkins of New York, and her Board decided to seek a Congressional Act of Incorporation. “On May 20, 1908, Mrs. John Sharp Williams, wife of the House Minority Leader who was opposed to the Act, invited her husband to a private lunch between them. She supported the existence of the Club.
“While they were busy dining, he couldn’t attend the sitting of the House, and consequently, the House of Representatives passed the Act unanimously without him! Don’t joke with women!”, he said, and this narration elicited cheer from the audience.
“I want to also advise that apart from acquainting yourselves with the legislative and political work of your spouses, it would do great justice to the image of this association if you also concentrate on issues concerning children, gender, community and humanitarian activities.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENT
“You have a great role to play in keeping our families together for a well organised family is the bedrock of any society. Indeed, behind every terrorist, armed robber, social deviant is someone who lacks parental care and attention. So you can play an important role in the security and wellbeing of our nation.”ADVERTISEMENT
She said the retreat “will open a new vista in the democratic process in the country as wives of the honourable members of the House will for the first time under one platform guided in possible ways to support their husbands in the discharge of their roles.”
Besides, she explained that “wives of politicians are known to channel requests and grievances from the electorate and other groups to their husbands because the demands of political offices were so enormous and time was limited for politicians to attend to.”
According to her, wives of some politicians are ardent promoters of their husbands’ legislative agenda. “Hence as a result, some constituents are comfortable and content with channeling their requests and petitions through the wives to their husbands.”