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Women seek more opportunities to serve Nigeria

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• Group tasks N’Assembly on female, children’s rights

Women’s resilience and resourcefulness must be fully tapped to achieve the full socioeconomic and political potentials of Nigeria.
This was the core message at a three-day National Women Summit (NWS) organised by the Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA) that was attended by over 1,000 women leaders and governors, which commenced yesterday at the International Conference Centre (ICC), University of Ibadan (UI).

To the participants, which included four governors and 21 governor’s wives agreed that the time has come for Nigeria to support more women to hold key positions in the country.

At the summit with the theme: The Resilient Woman: Making A Difference, it was agreed that women have potentials to contribute more than what they were already contributing to the development of the country.

Other dignitaries at the summit included a former Vice President of Zimbabwe, who was the special guest of honour, Joice Mujuru; a former Liberian First Lady, Jewel Howard-Taylor, Oyo State Deputy Governor, Moses Alake Adeyemo and other top government functionaries.

Wives of governors of Lagos, Abia, Imo, Ogun, Osun, Enugu, Delta, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Edo States among others were also in attendance in solidarity with Florence Ajimobi, convener and initiator of the programme, among others.

Governors Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) called for more opportunities for the women saying they have pivotal roles to play in the development of Nigeria and that they should be given opportunity to contribute to national development.

They charged women to make the difference in the world, due to their ability to recover faster and better from any disappointment they may suffer.Florence Ajimobi in her welcome address, tasked women to be resilient to make a difference in all spheres of endeavour.

Meanwhile, the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy has called on the National Assembly to enact laws protecting the rights of women and children in the country.

The group observed that the National Assembly has so far failed in their responsibility to pass legislation that would protect the rights of women and girls in Nigeria.Its founder, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said getting the Senate and House of Representatives to pass legislation that would protect the rights of these set of people has been very challenging for rights advocates.

She made the remark at the launch and book-reading event of Loud Whispers, written by Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, wife of the Minister of Mine and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi at the Civic Centre in Lagos.

Describing the book as a worthy companion, Abiola-Costello said every man, woman, girl and boy should get it because it could help them navigate the modern society and the challenges that are inevitable in it and still be at the core, culturally, Nigerian, but modern.

Bisi Fayemi, who noted that she has made women and children issues the centre stage of her life, said as a women’s rights activist and equality advocate her work on gender equality issues for many years have taken her around the world.

President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nike Akande described the book as informative and educative.Chairman of Elizade Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo described her as very rational, detailed and intelligent writer.

Dignitaries at the event include Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, former Governor of Ekiti State Niyi Adebayo and his wife, Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil, Folorunsho Alakija, former senator, Daisy Danjuma, Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Ibru, wife of Oyo State governor, Florence Ajumobi, former Lagos first lady, Abimbola Fashola, Editor of The News and P.M. News, Kunle Ajibade, Nollywood stars Joke Silva and Kate Henshaw.



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