The need for Nigerians, especially leaders of government to accord women leadership roles and value their contributions in national development ran across the submissions of various speakers at the 2017 National Women’s Summit of Oyo Sate Officials’ Wives Association, held in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
The summit with the theme, “The Resilient Woman: Making a Difference”, further saw several speakers call for positioning of women to champion causes of ensuring the prosperity of the country.
The list of dignitaries at the event included, former Vice President of Zimbabwe, Dr Joice Mujuru; wife of former President of Liberia, Mrs Jewel Howard-Taylor; Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos); South West Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Kemi Nelson; wife of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and wife of governors of Osun, Enugu, Nasarawa, Imo, Ogun, Lagos, Delta, Zamfara, Edo, Ondo, Sokoto, Ekiti.
In his pointed remark, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State said that any organization, political party or country that failed to allow women occupy frontline positions was doomed for destruction and backwardness.
“Any society, state even, let me say any political party, that does not position women correctly or ensures that women occupy frontlines position is destined for failure. It is doomed for destruction and backwardness and so I appreciate the wonderful works that our wives are doing.
“I am here to support the great works that Mrs Ajimobi has been doing in this state all these years. I like to honour women specially but for those of us that have been in the political trenches for years will understand the particular roles our wives played in our political careers. No politician or political leader can ever claim to have succeeded without the support of their wife or the women behind them,” Dickson said.
Chairperson, OYSOWA, Mrs Florence Ajimobi had, in her opening remarks, called on societies to appreciate the resoluteness of women to positively impact the society in spite of various setbacks they faced.
“There is no successful woman today who doesn’t have a story or two to tell, I have mine and I am certain that millions of other women have their stories too, as does every woman in this hall today.”
“A woman is only able to make a difference in her society and the world at large if she is able to recover quickly from the setbacks and vicissitudes that life may throw across her path. These setbacks could be financial, physical, emotional or even psychological. It is not these drawbacks that matter but how we are able to deal with them and return to statusquo after being compressed or stretched by the issues of life,” Mrs Ajimobi said.
Speaking, wife of Imo state governor, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha emphasized the need for women to remain focused towards achieving their goals.
In her keynote address, former Vice president of Zimbabwe, Dr Joice Mujuru, charged women to be driven to take up leadership roles in politics and respond to changes in the world around them.
Mujuru harped on the need for societies to appreciate the resilience of women and their resolve to make a difference.
Also speaking, wife of former President of Liberia, Mrs Jewel Howard-Taylor admonished women to arm themselves, by acquiring relevant knowledge and exposure, for them to impact upon their generation.
She added that women must be ready to face challenges and make their voices heard where decisions affecting lives are made.
In their various remarks, Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his Osun counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola beckoned on men to support women to be able to engender the needed difference in the world.
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