By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari; Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and Babagana Zulum of Borno State, top the list of dignitaries expected at this year’s COWLSO National Conference to be held in Lagos.
First Lady and Chairman of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, COWLSO, Dr Ibjioke Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, made this known to journalists, just as she explained the rationale behind the massive investment of the Committee in education and welfare of the vulnerable.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at a Press Conference held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, to unveil activities for the 22nd National Women’s Conference (NWC), of COWLSO, said as a community-based gender organisation, the Committee was established primarily to complement efforts of government officials in bringing about exponential development and generally improving the welfare of Lagosians.
According to her, “Since we came on board, we have worked in line with the founding vision of COWLSO to invest in the education of our children. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we donated 5,000 transistor radios to support the education of children in the riverine communities.
“The donation was part of efforts to ensure that no child is left behind in the access to quality education in the state on account of the challenges thrown up by the pandemic, while we equally factored in electricity challenges as the radios are such that can function with batteries. “We have equally invested in the welfare of vulnerable children and elders, particularly those in orphanages and elderly care homes across the five administrative divisions of the state namely Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe. “As we speak, we are also constructing a senior secondary school in Ogombo Community, Ajah in collaboration with the Lagos State Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS). The school is the first public school with a ramp specifically designed to facilitate the ease of movement of physically challenged students within the school.”
She said COWLSO also holds quarterly seminars for market men and women on sanitation, security and safety, among other projects.
Speaking on activities lined up for the 2022 COWLSO NWC, the First Lady said as a purpose-driven international conference through which women are positively galvanized, the event will hold from October 18 to 20, 2022 at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with the theme: “Spring Forth, Stand Out.”
Explaining the reason for the theme, she said: “In 2019 when we came on board, our theme was: “UNLEARN, LEARN AND RELEARN: 21ST CENTURY WOMEN’S T.H.E.M.E.S PERSPECTIVES/APPROACH.
” In 2020, we discussed “EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES IN A NEW WORLD”.
In 2021, our theme was “AWAKE!”, while this year, our theme is: “Spring Forth, Stand Out.”
“Haven extensively dealt with issues around awakening last year, what naturally follows an awakening is to emerge into something more beautiful and into something better. You emerge into a better version of yourself and keep pushing forward to make a positive difference. This is the message we are passing across to women this year.”
Aside from the main theme, other topics to be extensively discussed by seasoned facilitators and speakers, according to the First Lady, are: “Our Health: A Challenge and a call to reference; Mastering Performance Parenting in a Gen-z World; Insecurity: A threat to National Development; My Civic Responsibility: My Power; Smart Investment Options for the Forward Thinking Woman; Roles of women in Educational Development in Nigeria; Overcoming Adversity with Confidence; and Utilising Technology to Manage Business and Market Changes,” among others.
“We have made adequate preparations to ensure that we have more plenary sessions this year to extensively deliberate on the highlighted topics and associated issues, while on Day 3 of the Conference, there will be a Recap and Communiqué to state the position of COWLSO on the Conference and developments in the nation, particularly as regarding women and children,” she said.
On the expected guests, she said Nigeria’s First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Aisha Muhammadu Buhari will serve as the Mother of the day and would declare the Conference Open, while His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is the Special Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony.
She added that the Special Guest of Honour for the Gala Night is His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, while the Special Guest of Honour at the Closing Ceremony is His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State.