By Benjamin Omoike
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Wednesday, urged women to take their place in the world by making impactful contribution to the country and world’s development.
Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke at the 20th National Women Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Official (COWLSO), held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, in Lagos.
The governor said contributions of women could not be overlooked, adding they were relevant in the scheme of things.
Said he, “I commend the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials for their dedication, tenacity, love, resilience, and support in these challenging times.
“Thank you for all you do for our families and the society; thank you for your selfless contributions to the overall wellbeing of Lagosians; thank you for playing your part as caring wives and mothers who only want the best for Lagos State and Nigeria.
“Thank you for collaborating with us to ensure that our women remain relevant in the scheme of things with the apposite knowledge and training that they need to function optimally.
“I am proud to say that COWLSO’s annual women’s conference has had a positive impact on our women as I see how confident they have become in contributing to the political and socio-economic growth of our dear state and country.
“I am convinced that this year’s conference will be just as productive, especially with the intriguing theme: ‘Exploring the Possibilities in a New World’.
“As the world contends with a global health crisis, the time has come for us to critically look into ways in which our women can make more impactful contributions to global development.
“The world is in need of empowered women who are not afraid to pursue their passion, and fulfill their potential.
“As your patron, I urge you all to immerse yourselves in this conference over the next two days so that you can become better equipped to take your place in the world,” he urged.
The governor also urged the women to be inspired by the life of successful Nigerian women such as Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, “who is one of the last two contenders for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.”
“Her nomination and eventual advancement to the final round of the selection process should tell you that the global stage is ready for Nigerian women, the question is: Are you ready to make history by exploring the possibilities in a New World?
“You have a stake in the prosperity of our society. I hope this conference galvanises you to take action where necessary, in order to fulfill your God-given potential.
“I am convinced that you will courageously continue to play your part in the development of our society while doing all you can to improve your lives and families,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor further said women have a role to play in rebuilding the country after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have an economy to rebuild, and the input of our women is required.
“We are aware of your innate ability to proactively respond to change. It has become pertinent for you to explore new possibilities, develop new ideas, and accrue skills needed to make meaningful contributions to your society.
“Let me assure you, that we will not relent in respectfully protecting the dignity of our women. We know that our state and country flourish when our women and children flourish. You matter to our continued growth and progress. I encourage you to continue to work with us to build a more prosperous and stable society,” he said.
In her speech, the convener and First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs.) Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said COWLSO, since its formation, had supported officials of the state government and improved welfare of Lagosians.
Her words, “COWLSO is a strategic community-based gender organisation, established principally to support officials of the Lagos State Government to fast-track growth and development, with the aim of improving the welfare of Lagosians.
“Specifically, COWLSO is a platform for wives of the officials of the State Government to promote child healthcare, empower women to discover their hidden treasures and protect our environment, among other things.
“The organisation was founded in 1974 by our highly revered Wife of late Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson, the first Military Governor of Lagos State, the late Mrs. Obafunmilayo Johnson.
“COWLSO, thereafter, went docile for some years and was thankfully revived, re-energized, and repositioned by Her Excellency, Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu in 1999 during her tenure as First Lady of Lagos State,” she said.
She further said the two-day conference would “equip women with the skills and information needed to stay above board in this very interesting times”, as well as afford participants opportunities to discuss on topics such as “The Woman’s Physical And Mental Health”; “Legal Rights Of Women: Inheritance, Widows, Gender Quality In the Workplace and Divorce”; “Investment Opportunities And Wealth Building For Today’s Woman”; “Promoting Family Unit As The Bedrock Of The Society”; “Opportunities And Importance Of Agriculture”; “Digital Technology And Social Media”; “Environmental Sanitation & Personal Hygiene”; and “Domestic Violence & Rape”, among others.
On his part Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola, who was the special guest, said the theme of the conference, was an apt strategy by women to live up to their expectations, as the bearers and managers of people’s lives to swiftly mobilise and prepare humanity to find solutions to the challenges that Covid-19 had thrown at mankind and explore opportunities inherent in the ‘New Normal’.