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Aisha Buhari, former first ladies, eulogize late Maryam Babangida

Late Diana (L), Princess of Wales, and Maryam Babangida, the wife of former Nigerian president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, attend a Rural Women’s Fair in Tafawa Balewa Square on March 16, 1989, in Lagos. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)

First Lady, Aisha Buhari, former first ladies including Patience Jonathan and Turai Yar’Adua on Thursday gathered in Abuja in remembrance of Maryam Babangida, wife of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, who was Nigeria’s head of state.

Wife of vice-president Yemi Osinbajo was also in attendance.

Improve the lives of women

As the first lady, Maryam Babangida, who died in December 2009, launched many programmes to improve the lives of women. The “Maryam Phenomenon” became a celebrity and “an icon of beauty, fashion and style”, a position she retained after her husband’s fall from power.

She was credited with creating the position of First Lady of Nigeria and making it her own.

Her flagship project, Better Life Programme for Rural Women, served to awaken the consciousness of women in economic empowerment and nation-building.

Mrs Buhari lauded Mrs Babangida and her legacies adding that former first ladies should continue in this clime of meeting and sharing their experiences.

“I am happy to meet with some former first ladies at the event.

“The armchair discussion and the experience sharing by the first ladies were quite interesting and inspiring. While I commend the effort of Aisha Babangida for putting the event together, I would like to also suggest that Former first ladies should continue to explore avenues for sharing their experiences. It is hoped that this will enhance the Programmes of the next future First Ladies as well as shape the future of the younger generations,” Mrs Buhari wrote on Instagram.

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