The Voice of Widows, Divorcees and Orphans Association of Nigeria (VOWAN), has urged outgoing first lady, Dame Patience to embrace defeat and allow the African First Ladies Summit to hold as originally scheduled in July.
Speaking through its executive director, the group described as ‘indecent’ and ‘unbefitting’ the apparent desperation of Mrs Jonathan in rigging out the in-coming first lady, Aisha Buhari by hosting the summit two months ahead of the scheduled date of July.
If we recall, the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) is due to elect its president during the forthcoming summit. Mrs Jonathan was re-elected on July 26, 2012 at the 7th Summit in Abuja.
In a letter dated April 6, Dame Patience had pleaded for a change of date to enable her host the conference two weeks before she leaves office.
However, observers described the haste to host the event as attempt at ‘rigging’.
VOWAN noted that Mrs Jonathan’s decision “smacks of a hidden agenda and sheer desperation as she prepares to leave office having served her second and final term as president.”
The statement similarly advised the first ladies of the 52 member countries to stick to the original date of July in order not to disrupt its calendar.
“Mrs Jonathan should emulate her husband by not interfering in the calendar of AFLPM for whatever reason. It is indecent to reschedule the summit and smacks of a hidden agenda and sheer desperation”, the statement said.