2 She spoke at an event held in Abuja, which was organised by Obi’s colleagues and friends as well as gender activists.
3 In her goodwill message, Bashir described the celebrant as a defender of the rights of the less privileged who should be emulated by all.
4 While wishing her long life and prosperity, Bashir said “Nigerian women celebrate her because she has touched lives across Nigeria and even outside Nigeria”.
5 “This is a woman that the whole women of the world should celebrate.
6 “She is celebrated globally as a pillar to womenfolk and I am so proud of her.
8 “The centre is a rallying point for women and we are at the forefront of advocating efforts at tackling violence against women.
9 “We tell such women to always speak up, report cases of violence.
10 If they do not report, we will not know what is happening to them.
11 “We are there to help Nigerian women that have been violated and we urge them to always speak up and come to the centre,” she said.
14 “That is why she found a good home in ActionAid, an organisation dedicated to eradicating poverty and injustice.
15 “Her proficiency in fighting for justice, equity and for the poor is exemplary.
Igbuzor, who is also a former Country Director of ActionAid and Executive Director African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development decried marginalisation of women in Nigeria.
17 “Historically, women have been marginalised not only in Nigeria but across the world.
18 “We will continue to struggle for a better society, for better condition for women and for better condition for the poor,” he said.
20 She said, “Mrs Ene Obi resonates with the aspiration of women across board.
“I wish her more strength, good health and more wisdom as she continues to navigate this space that we are yet to cover.
On rising cases of violence against women, Makanjuola said, “it breaks my heart each time one gets to know that a woman is abused.
23 “Even these days, boys are being violated.
24 I think the media has a big role to play in this.
25 “Often times we focus on the victims, survivors, it is about time we focus on the perpetrators,” she said.
26 “If you find the perpetrator or you see something happening, say something.
27 “This is because it goes beyond the physical.
28 It often affects victims or survivors for life.
31 On the forthcoming 2023 general elections, Makanjuola said with the happening so far, it was obvious that women were undermined.
32 “Let’s support the man who will support us.
33 Support the party that supports women as an integral part of development.
34 “Support the presidential candidate that supports women as partners in progress.
35 “Until we do that deliberately, until we have rules and regulations things will not change because, the 35 per cent affirmative action for elective position is not being honoured.
In her remarks, the celebrant, Mrs Ene Obi, expressed joy for the encomiums showered on her, saying she was challenged to do more.
37 She appealed to Nigerians to stand for the country, adding that with the right mindset, the country would take its pride of place.
38 She said, “this country is one of the greatest countries in the world and I believe it will be great again.
On the gender bills that were rejected by the National Assembly, Obi said that ActionAid was re-strategising.
“We want the politicians to look at the bills again and make it right.
“This is because women represent about 50 per cent of the population and they cannot be pushed aside as if they do not matter.
“It is so disturbing to know that there are some houses of assembly where there is no woman,” she said.
Obi further called for people with disability to be included in the helm in the country.