Wives of the Governors of Osun and Kaduna States, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola and Mrs Hadiza El-Rufai have been elected chairpersons of the Southern Governors’ Wives Forum and Northern Governors’ Wives Forum respectively.

Their election was contained in a statement signed by the Wife of the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairperson of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF), Erelu Bisi Fayemi and made available to journalists on Thursday.

Erelu Fayemi congratulated the duo, stressing that she was optimistic that their emergence as new leaders will further help the Forum to work together “in solidarity across boundaries” in addressing issues of mutual concerns.

Mrs Fayemi who noted that the Wives of Governors have always played discreet but active roles in providing support for their husbands, stated that members of the Forum can contribute in their little ways towards the development needs of the country.

She noted that the Forum had succeeded in ensuring increased participation of women in governance, building a culture of peace in communities across the country and advocating access to education for girls.

The Ekiti State First Lady identified other efforts of the Forum to include provision of women healthcare needs, economic empowerment, advocating against drug abuse and responding to curb sexual and gender-based violence.

She commended the First Lady, Dr Aisha Buhari for all her encouragement and support for the works handled by the Governors’ Wives.

“On behalf of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum, I hereby congratulate Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, First Lady of Osun State, the newly elected Chair of the Southern Governors’ Wives Forum and Mrs Hadiza El-Rufai, First Lady of Kaduna State and new Chair of the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum. Wives of Nigerian Governors have always played a discreet, yet active role to support the efforts of their husbands. By working together in solidarity across boundaries, we can address issues of mutual concern to us.”

“Through our collective work in responding to sexual and gender-based violence, access to education for girls, women’s healthcare needs, economic empowerment of women, advocacy against drug abuse, increased numbers of women in public life and building a culture of peace in our communities, we can contribute in our own small way towards the development needs of our country. I also thank HE (Dr) Aisha Buhari, First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, for all her encouragement and support for the work that we do as Governors’ Wives”, she said.