Dr. Queen Blessing Itua speaks at the United Nations HQ in New York

Dr. Queen Blessing Itua speaks at the United Nations HQ in New York

March 11, 2018

Three Nigerian women will spotlight themes such as human trafficking, suicide bombing, and sexism and sexual harassment at the United Nations, showing the strength of women as agents of change in African societies often dominated by men.

“Unity in Diversity: An Evening of Art and Hope with Nigerian Women” will feature excerpts from Ms. Itua’s book “We Are the Blessings of Africa,” as well as monologues from Ifeoma Fafunwa’s HEAR WORD! and Nadine Ibrahim’s films “Tolu” and “Through Her Eyes.”

The event is organized by UN Women, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Nigerian Mission to the UN, with other partners.

“Africa is a diverse continent, rich with different countries and different cultures and natural resources. Africa has the talent – men and women,” said Ms. Itua. Men and women alike, she said, must understand that  women can be powerful agents of development.

“If women understand that they have a critical role to play, they do not see themselves as just wives or women at home, they also raise up into mental engagement with the men, Ms. Itua said, “and hopefully strategize about developing our Mother Land.”

Born in Nigeria and living in the United States, Ms. Itua said she wants to create awareness and give voice to women who do not have a platform to speak out about social ills, particularly rural women.

Her latest film, Mrs. Adams, – which will premiere during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) next week – follows human trafficking routes in Nigeria and Europe. It is meant to be a statement not just about brutalization of women and sexual violence, but also highlight the economic reasons that people choose to migrate in the first place. It also hopes to raise awareness  about the exploitative work practices, forced labour and smuggling that are rife in human trafficking.

The issue is personal, Ms. Itua said. She hails from Edo state, which recently inaugurated a migration resource centre, and which has been cast in the spotlight after reports of Nigerians from that area being sold in modern slave markets in Libya.

“As an African woman, I believe that my goal is to work with other women in creating awareness. Together we are stronger. Working together to be stronger to change the narrative coming out of Africa,” Ms. Itua said.

She will be joined on Sunday by 24-year-old Nadine Ibrahim, whose film Through Her Eyes follows the internal struggle of a 12-year-old female suicide bomber in northern Nigeria.

Click here to watch video of the event

Wife of Nigerian President, Aisha Buhari Seeks Collaboration with US NGO-A delegate led by Queen Blessing Itua

January 18, 2018

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has assured a United States’ based NGO of her readiness to collaborate in providing humanitarian services to women, children and other less privileged in the country.

Mrs Buhari gave the assurance when a delegation from the NGO called: “Our Collective Future” led by its leader Dr Leong Ying, paid her a courtesy visit on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The international group, who was the first to visit the wife of the President in 2018, had its membership cut across Middle-East, Asia and Africa.

Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Senior Special Adviser to the President, Dr Hajo Sani, said the vision of the visiting team was similar to the mission and vision of her NGO: ‘the Future Assured’.

She also informed the group of her passion to continue in championing the course of women and children, especially the girl-child education, supporting maternal and child health as well as providing skills acquisition for youths through her Future Assured initiative.

According to her, since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015, the wife of the President has provided relief materials and medical outreach to the victims of insurgency at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

According to the wife of the President, the strategy of the group fits into the vision of our Future Assured initiative.

“We will also exchange ideas on where we can collaborate to provide hygiene, clean water for rural communities as well as support the physical well-being of women and children in Nigeria,” she said.

Buhari, therefore, expressed her readiness to cooperate with the group in the areas of the provision of clean water to the less privileged families in Nigeria.

Responding on behalf of his team, the leader of the delegation and President of KLYTEC, a technology and network service provider, Dr Leong Ying, said they were in the State House to appreciate the good work of Mrs Buhari.

Leong said that the group was seeking for opportunity to provide humanitarian support to the less privileged in Nigeria.

Also speaking, a member of the delegation, Dr Blessing Itua, expressed the desire of the group to participate in Mrs Buhari’s ongoing efforts towards providing quality drinking water to rural communities in the country.

While fielding questions from State House, Itau expressed optimism that their aim of providing water to rural communities will be realized, despite the huge amount of money involved in the execution of such project.

“We understand that every project requires money, but with our collective effort we can do it,” she said.

Edo Govt State of Nigeria seeks partnership with Diaspora community on gender mainstreaming

January 22, 2018

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed readiness to partner with Edo indigenes in the diaspora to engender social economic growth, especially in empowering women and girls in the state.

Obaseki disclosed this when he hosted Ms. Blessing Itua, a United States of America-based Edo indigene and Gender and Development Advocate/Founder, Blessing of Africa Empowerment, who was on a courtesy visit to the governor, at the Government House, Benin City.

Governor Obaseki said the state government is ready to partner with the diaspora community, in empowering women to open up the space for women participation in efforts to transform the state into an economic hub.

Obaseki said, “the state government will take advantage of the human resources in the diaspora community to promote socio-economic growth and development, and to make life better for Edo people.”

He said the state is not only blessed with natural resources but with human resources, noting, “This administration is designing a development roadmap that will enable the state partner investors, including the indigenes of the state who are in the diaspora, in specific areas of need, especially women empowerment.”

Obaseki said, “As a state, our destiny is in our hands and we will ensure that we utilise the opportunity to create wealth and prosperity for the people. The roadmap for development being designed will enable the state partner with the diaspora community. This will enable the indigenes of the state who are based abroad to come and undertake projects. We are creating the right environment for things to work as we also plan to generate correct information and data for effective planning.”

The governor commended Ms Itua, a recipient of the President Barack Obama Award of Service, for her determination in undertaking projects that have positively impacted lives.

Ms. Blessing Itua, earlier, said she was in the state to support the laudable achievements of the governor and seek areas of collaboration with the state government on women empowerment, human trafficking, training, medical tourism and aviation.