Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum has called on the Federal and state governments to ensure that women are not sidelined in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

In a statement jointly issued yesterday to commemorate 2021 International Women’s Day, the First Lady of Ekiti State and Chair of Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi; First Lady of Niger State and Chair, Northern Governors’ Wives Forum, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello; and First Lady of Edo State and Chair, Southern Governors’ Wives Forum, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, the governors’ wives also promised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to show that it is safe for consumption.

“As we manage the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic during these difficult times, we call on all the authorities concerned to make the COVID19 vaccine widely available and ensure there is equity in access.

“The vaccine should not be yet another resource that women do not have easy access to in Nigeria. We also urge all women to take the vaccine when it is available, we ourselves will be taking the vaccine to demonstrate that it is safe,” the statement said.

The women also noted that they should be given the opportunity to lead, saying many of Nigeria’s problems can be solved by women.

“We firmly believe that if women are encouraged as leaders, there will be

solutions to many of our intractable problems. The future of our country belongs to both men and women. We can no longer afford to leave one side behind by accident or design.

“As Governors’ Wives, we will continue to support our husbands and remind them of their obligations towards the security, protection, and empowerment of citizens, especially women.

“We will also engage with local communities and various stakeholders to ensure that no woman is left behind. We will continue our joint flagship project as Governors’ Wives which is addressing sexual and gender-based violence, as well as our individual projects which address women’s

health, education of children, mental health, economic empowerment, literacy, and many other issues.”