The advocate for women’s rights and abolishment of child labor disclosed that she oversees the operations of her non-profit organization that was established two decades ago utilizing her husband’s upkeep funds.
The wife of the former Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, voiced her frustration over the disinterest from Nigerians. She stated that her initiative, the Women Trafficking and Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), was neglected due to her association with her politically and economically powerful husband.
Regardless, she resolved not to feel disheartened by this situation, affirming her determination to eradicate human trafficking and child labor globally.
The advocate confirmed that she runs her non-profit organization, which was established 24 years ago, with funds from her husband’s pocket.
On a Saturday evening in Abuja, after receiving the Champion 2023 Leadership (Heart of Gold) Award by Champion Newspapers Limited, Mrs. Abubakar voiced her thoughts.
She expressed gratitude towards Champion Newspapers for acknowledging her unwavering endeavors against the trafficking of women and child labor by presenting her with the honor.
She expressed, “I have been serving in this field for 24 years without any acknowledgement. I did not seek recognition; I comforted myself with the belief that I am fulfilling God’s mission, and my reward awaits in heaven,”.
“Once, I ran an advert in a newspaper clarifying that the children I am caring for are Nigeria’s children, not mine, and appealed for financial aid, however small. Yet, no assistance came forth. They reasoned, after all, I am Atiku’s spouse. Being Atiku’s wife and having a passion for this cause are not one and the same. Yet, because I firmly believe in my work, I press on.”
“When I resided at the Villa, I provided these children with meals from the government’s provisions, and I continue to look after them outside of it,” she stated.
She showed her appreciation for the team at the foundation for their tireless efforts despite the limited resources available to them.
“I have been passionately advocating this cause for numerous years. The team you see working alongside me do so not for substantial monetary compensation, but for the belief in the cause,” she conveyed.
“Our children advance not just in primary, but also secondary and further education. Recently, two of our kids returned from Nasarawa as graduates, and I am still standing strong,” she proudly stated.
She reminisced about how establishing WOTCLEF led to the creation of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
“I thank you all for your presence and your contributions, particularly due to the fact that over the years, I have financed all these initiatives with my household allowances from my husband, purely because I am dedicated to serving humanity,” she earnestly expressed.
She lauded the event organizers for acknowledging her humanitarian works as well as bestowing upon her the prestigious award.
She contented, “I feel extremely privileged and ecstatic to receive the Champion Newspapers’ Leadership Award today. This occasion has truly made me a champion. Champion Newspaper, you alone have recognized my contribution, encouraging others to donate towards my cause, which truly is a national cause as these children belong to Nigeria.”
“It’s an immense honor and pleasure to be the recipient of the 2023 Champion Newspapers’ Leadership Award today. This is a tribute to my incessant fight against the heinous practices of human trafficking and child labor. Through my organization, WOTCLEF, I would like to applaud your initiative and organizational skills, which have brought together many notable individuals for this significant event. This moment is overwhelming and I cannot express enough gratitude,” she stated.
She further stated, “The Champion 2023 Heart of Golf Award has invigorated my intent, passion, and zeal, pushing me to carry on this humanitarian mission till it reaches its culmination.”