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Female lawmaker congratulates Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf for winning Mo Ibrahim Award


Victoria Nyeche

Victoria Nyeche, member, Rivers State House of Assembly, representing the good people of Port Harcourt Constituency 1, has congratulated the immediate past President of Liberia and the first female President in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for winning the prestigious Mo Ibrahim Award and thus becoming the first female Ibrahim prize laureate.

Aside from recognising and celebrating excellence in African leadership, the Ibrahim Prize aims to distinguish leaders such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who, during their time in office, have developed their countries, strengthened democracy and human rights for the shared benefit of their people, and advanced sustainable development.

“One significant thing to note about this great woman of African descent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is her ability to make” Fundamental breaks” through the glass ceilings which has for years kept many African women, in particular, down in the basement. It is of note that this woman of rare leadership qualities not only provided excellent leadership for her country but has also raised the leadership bar, thereby shocking naysayers who imagined that it would be impossible for a woman to drive the economic recovery and sociopolitical stability process of post-war Liberia. My joy knows no bounds. I feel inspired by her achievements; she is a trailblazer and a symbol of courage to women. I am proud that an African woman did significantly well to reposition her country and has been so recognised,” Victoria Nyeche said.

Nyeche stated: “No time is more auspicious than now to celebrate women of excellence. Women of excellence are not fickle-minded women. They are women of high integrity and vision. It takes integrity to lead. It’s high time women took up the leadership gauntlet for action and change. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did it and she is celebrated.

“Therefore, I want to use this medium to call on all women especially Rivers in particular and Nigerian women as a whole to rise up and put themselves up for leadership with a view to providing motherly-inherent leadership in spaces and positions where excellent leadership are needed. I strongly believe that women are compassionate by default and would at all times and occasions deploy such natural disposition in leadership. Arise, Rivers women. Arise Nigerian women. Arise African women. Together, We can make change happen.”

According to Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the Prize Committee: “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took the helm of Liberia when it was completely destroyed by civil war and led a process of reconciliation that focussed on building a nation and its democratic institutions. Throughout her two terms in office, she worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Liberia. Such a journey cannot be without some shortcomings and, today, Liberia continues to face many challenges. Nevertheless, during her twelve years in office, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf laid the foundations on which Liberia can now build.”

This is what the founder of the foundation, Mo Ibrahim said: “I’m delighted that the Prize Committee has decided to make Ellen Johnson Sirleaf an Ibrahim Prize Laureate. In very difficult circumstances, she helped guide her nation towards a peaceful and democratic future, paving the way for her successor to follow. I am proud to see the first woman Ibrahim Laureate, and I hope Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will continue to inspire women in Africa and beyond.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joins Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), Pedro Pires of Cape Verde (2011), Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008) and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007) as an Ibrahim Prize Laureate. Nelson Mandela was made the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007.

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