Showing posts with label rural women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rural women. Show all posts

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hajiya Maryam Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Was A Great Woman

Mrs. Maryam Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and three of her four children.

Hajiya Maryam Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida would be remembered for many reasons, but the most remarkable was how she used her role as the First Lady for the empowerment of millions of Nigerian women in the rural areas as the founder of the Better Life Programme for the Rural Woman (BLP). The BLP programme launched 7,635 co-operatives, 997 cottage industries, 1,751 new farms and gardens, 487 new shops and markets, 419 women's centers and 163 social welfare programs in all the states and Abuja (FCT) in Nigeria and transformed the lives of the women for life.

Mrs. Babangida used the BLP for the social and political mobilization of rural women and increased the voter turnout in the December 1989 local government council elections in Nigeria and she also built an international center for women in development in Abuja.

For her great feat in sustainable human development, Mrs. Maryam Ibrahim Babangida was honoured with the highly coveted Africa Prize for Leadership in 1991.
Among the laureates of the Africa Prize are the great Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa, who won the prize in 1994 and Jerry John Rawlings, the former President of the Republic of Ghana who won it in 1993 and the others include the following great men and women:
2006 - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female President of Liberia.
2003 - Meaza Ashenafi, Founder, Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association.
2003 - Sara Longwe, Gender consultant, Zambia.
2001 - Amelia Jacob, Co-founder, SHDEPHA+, Tanzania.
2001 - Bishop Dennis H. de Jong, (1931-2003)Integrated AIDS Programme, Zambia.
1998 - President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda.
1998 - Celina Cossa, Founder and Leader of the General Union of Agricultural Cooperatives.
1997 - Joaquim Chissano, President of Mozambique.
1997 - Joyce Banda, Founder, National Assn. of Business Women of Malawi.
1996 - Amadou Toumani Touré, Former President of Mali.
1996 - Chief Bisi Ogunleye, Founder, Country Women's Association of Nigeria.
1995 - H. E. Sam Nujoma, President of the Republic of Namibia.
1995 - Mrs. Joyce F. Mungherera, National Executive Director, YWCA - Uganda.
1993 - Father Nzamujo Godfrey, Director, Songhai Project, Benin.
1992 - Mrs. Graça Simbine Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique.
1992 - Dr. Ebrahim M. Samba, Africa Regional Director, World Health Organization.
1991 - Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai, Founder, Green Belt Movement, Kenya.

1990 - Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria; founder, Africa Leadership Forum.
1990 - Dr. Esther Afua Ocloo, (1919-2002) Founder and first chair, Women's World Banking.

1989 - H. E. Dr. Ketsumile Masire, Former President of the Republic of Botswana.
1989 - Dr. Bernard L. Ouédraogo, President and founder, the Naam movement, Burkina Faso. Co-founder, International Six-S Association.
1987 - H. E. Abdou Diouf, Former President of the Republic of Senegal.
1987 - Professor Thomas R. Odhiambo (1931-2003).

Maryam's Death: General Babangida’s Statement

Sun Dec, 27 2009

Maryam Babangida passes on at 61 in US

With total submission to the Will of Allah, we humbly announce the passing away of our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and amiable friend Hajiya Maryam Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

A statement from General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s family announced today that Maryam passed on early this morning at the age of 61, after a protracted illness.

The former chairperson of the Better Life for Rural Women during her husband's years in office had been hospitalised at University of California Los Angele's (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Los Angeles, United States.

She died beside her husband, General Babangida who has been at her bedside in the US hospital till her death. Mrs. Babangida's condition worsened months ago.

Born on November 1, 1948, she had fairly humble beginnings in her hometown of Asaba where she received part of her early education before moving up North to Queen Amina College, Kaduna for her Secondary education. She went on to graduate as a Secretary at the Federal Training Centre, Kaduna and later obtained a diploma in secretaryship from Laselle University, Chicago, USA as well as a Certificate in Computer Science from the NCR Institute, Lagos.

On September 6, 1969, two months before her 21st Birthday, she got married to Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (then a Major). Their marriage has been blessed with four children: 2 boys, Mohammed and Aminu and two girls, Aisha and Halima.

Apart from a brief stop at a career in her line of training, before and shortly after marriage, Mrs. Babangida remained a full time housewife, establishing and nurturing the home front until her youngest child had fairly come of age.

Considered to be one of the greatest women in Africa today, Maryam made that significant sacrifice in her staunch belief that the family unit is the most crucial factor in the quality of society and of mankind and that the woman is the central anchor of the unit.

By 1983, she however was again ready for an active career, beyond the confines of the home front when her husband became the Chief of Army Staff on December 31st that year. She became the President of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA). It was during her twenty-month presidency that her leadership qualities were first unfolded to the public as she mobilised her colleagues to embark aggressively on public spirited ventures which included building schools, clinics, women's multipurpose training centres and child day care centres.

An incisive thinker and passionate lover of nature, gardening, birds and home decorations, she is "a poet's dream" and with disarming charm and an admirable deft blend of winning wit, quiet confidence and child-like grace, she has brought the institution of first-ladyship out of the closet to active participation in nation building.


(For and on Behalf of the General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Family)

Malam Ibrahim Ismaila

Special Assistant to General I.B. Babangida

December 27, 2009

Download press statement here: Maryam Babangida passes on at 61 in US