Wife of Nigeria’s president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has called on the military authorities to deploy female soldiers to the northeast to fight against the deadly Boko Haram insurgents
The First Lady made the call, Thursday, during the opening ceremony of the Defence Headquarters maiden annual conference on women peace and security at the National Defence College, Abuja.
Buhari’s wife blamed the security crisis witnessed in the country partly on the yet to be defined role of women and cold feet in exploring their potential for operational effectiveness in the military.
The First Lady who has not been visible for some time now was represented by a Senior Special Assistant, Dr Hajo Sani. She noted that for insecurity to be successfully tackled, the impact of the female gender must be adequately unleashed.
“The security issues bedeviling our country still abound probably because we are yet to redefine the Armed Forces of Nigeria to explore the potential of women for operational effectiveness. Women possess the traits of patience, perseverance, and passion.
“There is a need for the reformulation of laws and policies that border on the inclusion of women in the strategic reformation of effective operational deployment. The wide margin and lack of flexibility in structures based on gender should be abridged.
“Women are restricted to careers within supportive mustering of military community such as finance, human resources, personnel, logistics, medical services and welfare. I join the military women to take exception to such psychological oppression” she said.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin in his remarks said the military has attained 27.7% female participation in peacekeeping operations.
“Currently, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has attained 27.7 per cent female participation in peacekeeping operations. This is higher than the UN recommendation of 17 per cent.
“These women are given equal opportunities like their male counterparts, including commanding major combat units and flying fighter jets for the air force.
“The Nigerian Navy has also deployed women as sailors and for other key aspects such as ship maintenance” he said.