Tallen hails appointment of Nigerian as health minister in Canada

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Abuja.

Former Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has congratulated a Nigerian woman, Uzoma Asagwara on her emergence as the Minister of Health and Deputy Premier of Canada’s Manitoba Province.

The former minister made this known in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja, describing Asagwara as the epitome of a Nigerian woman, who has done the womenfolk and Nigeria proud abroad.

Tallen lauded Asagwara for her rare feat, saying her achievements underscored the fact that, if given the opportunity, the typical Nigerian woman could rise to any position, including becoming Nigeria’s President in future.

She said: “I wish to congratulate you on the attainment of this rare feat of becoming the Health Minister and Deputy Premier of Canada’s Manitoba Province at the young age of 39.

“Indeed your success story has further reinforced the fact that the Nigerian woman is hardworking, resourceful, diligent, capable, able and can be entrusted with any position, including Governor and President of Nigeria in future.

“I urge you to continue to do the Nigerian women proud abroad, fly the national flag higher. I also call on our young women to borrow a leaf from your achievements by following in your worthy footprints.”

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, when her parents from the Igbo ethnic group of Abia, South-Eastern Nigeria, migrated there in the late 1970s, Asagwara was earlier elected to represent the Canadian Union Station in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly in 2019.

By winning a seat in the Manitoba Assembly and also becoming the first black queer legislator, she succeeded in breaking a 150-year jinx to achieve such a feat.

Asagwara’s duties as the new health minister, will intersect with bioeconomy in different ways and she will be expected to drive innovation and health advancements within the biosciences.

The Nigerian-Canadian psychiatric nurse, whose career spans over a decade in the country’s health sector, has also played basketball actively in Canada.

In 2008, she bagged a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing and also completed a joint programme between the University of Winnipeg and the University in Brandon, both in Manitoba.

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