Regina Akaraonye, assistant coach of Nigeria women’s league champions, Rivers Angels, believed the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament will provide a medium that will guarantee an assured future for the girl-child in Africa.
Akaraonye, who is a former Nigerian international said the six-nation football showpiece with its theme Playing For Good under the Aisha Buhari Foundation’s Future Assured Programme, is a laudable project with the grain to further empower the girl-child, take her away from the streets and permanently shield her from anti-social vices.
“It’s a big honour being done to women and the girl-child in Nigeria and Africa by the First Lady of Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs) Aisha Buhari with the upcoming invitational tournament in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Mrs Aisha Buhari’s Future Assured Programme is all about the women and girl-child and this Aisha Buhari Cup is going to be a game-changer for the women and girl-child in Africa. I have to say this: the introduction of women football into our lives and Nigeria has helped a lot to take away the girl-child from the streets and other vices. Today we have educated ones among them still playing football and most of the women footballers are bread-winners of their respective families.
“I appeal to parents to see what the First Lady is doing in her foundation and the Aisha Buhari Cup as a wake-up call on them to allow their children especially the girl-child to participate in football and other sports. It will not stop them from studying or realising their conjugal obligations and other potentials,” said Akaraonye.
The Future Assured Programme (FAP) focuses on women and girl-child as well as vulnerable people like widows, orphans and the disabled across the country. The programme involves training for entrepreneurial skills and provision of starter packs, conditional and unconditional cash transfers and provision of business tools.
The Aisha Buhari Cup in honour of Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari will be played among Africa’s six powerhouse teams, namely hosts Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Mali and Morocco, 13th – 21st September in two stadia in Lagos: Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan and the ‘Soccer Temple’ Agege Stadium.