Narrating the importance of women in leadership, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said he “miraculously escaped” in the mid-90s when many of Nigeria’s leading democracy activists were running away from the country in crates and bush border crossings.
In a statement after seeing the record breaking Black Panther movie, Atiku recounted his experiences, and stressed it would be a disservice to Nigerian women if their role in nation building is undermined.
“One important thing I noticed in Wakanda was the strong role of women in all aspects – defense, technology, leadership, spiritual leadership, among others. When there was trouble, the women of Wakanda didn’t just stand by, they found a way.
“I remember in the mid-90s, when many of Nigeria’s leading democracy activists were running away in crates and bush border crossings, (I also miraculously escaped), the women were there to save us.
“Women were either helping the movement go underground, or taking up the fight. It would be a disservice to Nigerian women, if we speak about June 12, without mentioning the role of Kudirat Abiola,” he said.
He went further to say he was honoured to present a posthumous award to the MKO Abiola’s family during the recently held Silverbird Man of the Year Awards, and wished more awards will go to women who often led or supported the pro-democracy movement.
The former vice president also talked about Nigerian talents abroad who can turn the nation into a technology and industry giant.
“The question then is how we can make the environment conducive for them to return and contribute to its growth and development.
“During my time in government, mining the ‘natural resource’ of Nigerians in the Diaspora was an important part of our strategy, bringing back Nigerians who had established themselves abroad to come home to work.
“Sadly, many of those people who came back have packed up and returned abroad. We are losing professionals in all sectors in their droves every month, at the fastest rate not seen since the 1980s.
“We cannot build the Nigeria of our dreams without keeping our best people in the country and empowering them to work and build businesses.
“We cannot keep our people healthy when the best of our medical professionals are being forced to pack up and leave,” he said.