Former Nigerian international, Regina Akaraonye has posited that the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament is a game-changer that will guarantee a future assured for the girl-child in Africa.
Akaraonye, who is an assistant coach of NWFL Premiership side, Rivers Angels, 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.
Morocco star thunders: ‘Our ambition is to win Aisha Buhari Cup’
Morocco defender Hanane Ait El Haj has backed her side to emerge victorious at the upcoming Aisha Buhari Invitational Tournament taking place in Lagos, Nigeria next month.
The Atlas Lionesses are drawn against Mali and Nigeria in Group A of the six-nation competition and the former Zaragoza star is excited about her team’s chance to test themselves against women’s football powerhouses in Africa.
“For us, it’s a good opportunity to know first, our level, what we should improve on and also the level of the teams that we may likely play at the Women Africa Cup of Nations,” El Haj, who recently helped ASFAR win the UNIAF Women’s Champions League title, told ABC Media.
“We play against Mali a lot of times, so we know each other. But it will be our first game with Nigeria and we know they are a big and strong team that always fight for titles.”
On their ultimate goal at the competition, the 26-year-old said: “Our ambition is to win this tournament and improve ourselves.
“It will be a very exciting competition with big teams competing in it, thanks to everyone who organised this tournament.”
El Haj will aim to inspire the 2022 Women Africa Cup of Nations hosts to success in Nigeria, who are the Cup holders and nine-time African champions.