#WOMANCRUSHWEDENESDAY

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Today on WCW we bring to you a rare gem, she is that rare icon fate invents to stun morality. And she is no other person than Hajiya Maryam Sani Abacha.

Maryam Sani Abacha was the former first lady of Nigeria who was married to former head of state of Nigeria Sani Abacha. She was born on 4th of March 1947 in Kaduna state to Nana Jiddah. Her mum, Nana Jiddah is Kanuri born of a Borno princess with German root. She is also a direct descendant of Sheikh Ibrahim Waidama, an Arab who settled in Kanem-Borno in the 16th and 17th centuries.

You can rightly say Maryam got mixed blood; and that’s where she got beauty from.

Maryam married Sani Abacha in 1965.

There is no such thing in nature or humankind that measures up to her fairness and grace while in office, she was called ‘’The Crusading First Lady’ for her role in the first summit of Africa’s First Ladies in 1997.

As her pet projects while in office as the First lady of Nigeria; she had The African First Ladies Peace Mission, Poverty Alleviation Programme, The National Programme on Immunization, The Family Support Programme, The Family Support Basic Education Programme and the Family Economist Advancement Programme.

Maryam raised the idea of the National Hospitals for Women and Children (NHWC) and later saw to its establishment. The institution is now known as National Hospital Abuja. As First Lady, she raised money and built the hospital within 10 months, which was later commissioned by General Abdulsalami Abubakar on May 21, 1999, a week to handover.

Fashionably, she popularized the use of ‘’Aso Oke’’ during her tenure.

Following the United Nations declaration of 1994 as the International Year of the Family, she launched her private initiative in September 1994, which was called the Family Support Programme (FSP) which replaced the Better Life for Rural Women established by the late First Lady, Maryam Babangida.

Maryam had three daughters and seven sons with her late husband Sani Abacha. Her eldest surviving son is Mohammed Abacha.

BY MAIMUNA BAGUDU

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