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Nigerian First Lady Visits VOA; Focuses on Women’s and Children’s Health


Nigerian first lady Hajiya Aisha Buhari (R) with VOA Hausa’s Jamila Kabiru Fagge

Nigerian first lady Hajiya Aisha Buhari (R) with VOA Hausa’s Jamila Kabiru Fagge

During her first visit to the Voice of America, Nigeria’s first lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari called VOA “an encouraging source of communication” that facilitates dialogue between citizens and their governments around the world.

Buhari, who was in Washington to support Nigeria’s diaspora community and promote her NGO, Future Assured, which supports maternal, newborn and child health, noted that a lack of adult education hampers Nigeria’s social and economic development. “Reviving the adult education centers we used to have in villages will make a huge difference in the society,” said Buhari.

The wide-ranging August 5 interview on VOA Hausa’s Yau Da Gobe (Today and Tomorrow) program covered issues such as women’s rights, the fight against corruption in Nigeria and malnutrition that afflicts children across the country. Buhari told VOA that one of her priorities is promoting programs that offer meals in schools. “Giving children even one hot meal will encourage them to get an education rather than to be on the street working from morning to evening and looking for something to eat,” she said.

Buhari said she has asked donor agencies such as USAID and UNICEF to open facilities in Nigeria to prepare emergency food aid for severely malnourished children to reduce the time it takes to reach areas formerly controlled by Boko Haram terrorists.

Voice of America Director Amanda Bennett welcomed Buhari and her delegation, commending the first lady’s NGO for playing “a key role in helping women in Nigeria who have been raped or forced into marriage as well as working to boost the education of girls, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and the rise of drug abuse.” Bennett noted that “these are all topics of interest for VOA and our Hausa Service, which regularly reports on social- and health-related issues.”

The entire VOA Hausa Facebook Live interview with Nigerian first lady Hajiya Aisha Buhari can be viewed here.

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VOA Hausa has been a major source of news and information in Nigeria, Ghana and Niger since 1979. Other countries in the sub-region where Hausa is spoken include Cameroon, Chad, Libya, Ivory Coast and parts of Benin. VOA reaches 20 million weekly listeners on shortwave and AM as well as through its website, which features live and on-demand audio broadcasts. VOA Hausa features a mobile stream and the new half-hour Yau Da Gobe program, which focus on women and youth. The Hausa Service also broadcasts Taskar VOA (Treasure Basket) -- a weekly, youth-oriented television program with more than 40 million viewers in Nigeria and Niger.

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