Details Of The Classy 3 Day National Women Conference
It was loud in Lagos for 3 days last week from Tuesday, 23rd to Thursday, 25th October 2018 when the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, COWLSO hosted the 18th national women conference at the prestigious Eko Hotel Convention centre, Victoria Island Lagos.
Alausa was actually shut down for the whole 3 days as women in the civil service alongside wives of public officials from far and wide, from different zones and constituencies, gathered under one umbrella to celebrate themselves. The theme for the event is “strengthening our collective impact” and it was full of various activities, from the opening ceremony, networking etiquette session, plenary sessions, and classy dinner/gala nite then closing ceremony. CityPeople Society Editor, TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI was part of the media team at the event. Below are gists no one will tell you about COWLSO 2018.
BEHOLD THE BEAUTIFUL LAGOS FIRST LADY
It was surely her day as she led the committee of wives of Lagos state officials, COWLSO to Eko Hotel for the 18th national women conference organised by them. She was serenaded by all the women from far and near with other female Lagos state civil servants who gathered under one umbrella to celebrate themselves. Mrs Ambode looked good in her choice of embellished Ankara she wore all through the 3 days. She and her executive committee brought out the best and showed that they are superb in planning an epoch-making women event. She shone in a beautiful dress for the gala nite and her husband complimented her for the 2 days.
SENATOR REMI TINUBU WAS REPRESENTED
The former First Lady of Lagos and wife of former governor and APC National leader, Senator Oluremi Tinubu was not at the ceremony but she was ably represented for the whole 3 days by Mrs Olayinka Agunsoye. She was a conspicuous figure at the last event but indisposed to attend this year conference. She is the grand matron of COWLSO and former Lagos first lady who took COWLSO to the next level during her reign. Her representative also sat at the high table where other dignitaries were seated.
LAGOS GOV, AMBODE IN PUBLIC DISPLAY OF LOVE
Just as you think governor Ambode is 100 per cent a very serious-minded person is also a double take when it comes to his other side. Governor Ambode and his wife Bolanle were in open display of love with each other at the event. This was what happened last year and it also repeated itself which further shows they never hide their affection from each other. When First Lady was reading her speech, she was full of words of love for her husband, “with heart full of gratitude, I welcome the governor of Lagos state, my darling husband, Akinwunmi Ambode,I cannot stop appreciating you, words cannot adequately describe what you represent in my life, you have never abandoned me, you are my hidden strength and dependable darling. Thank you for living up to every promise you made” and the governor also reciprocated during his own speech as well in a very jovial and jokingly manner. It was evident at the event that the chief host, his excellency, the governor is truly a doting husband.
ABOUT THE 18TH NATIONAL WOMEN CONFERENCE
The 18th national women conference is organised by Committee of wives of Lagos state officials! COWLSO, they have been at the helms of affairs since it was resuscitated 18 years ago. Since 2015, Lagos first lady, Bolanle Ambode has been running it as the chairman. Their objective is for members to support their spouses who are in public positions in the development of Lagos State. The theme for this year conference was “strengthening our collective impact” which is geared towards exploring key areas of a woman’s life- personal growth and purpose, achieving a successful marriage and securing the future.
OVER 3000 WOMEN DELEGATES STORM CONFERENCE
The conference is a national event and there are many delegates who came from different states to celebrate with COWLSO. The event had in attendance over 3000 women who stormed the Eko hotel venue for all the 3 days. It was a moment of networking, nation building for all the women who took part. Women contribute largely to the country and the event showed how women can be powerful in any government. They all stood behind their chairman, her excellency, Bolanle Ambode and together the event was a success. Not forgetting how women dressed to the nines at the conference, they all showed their creativity especially in transforming our African fabric Ankara into a beautiful piece.
OVER 7 FIRST LADIES HONOUR MRS. BOLANLE AMBODE
Lagos First Lady surely pulled a big one as many First Ladies stormed the 3day event. At the event were First Ladies, Florence Ajimobi of Oyo State, Olufunsho Amosun of Ogun State, Betsy Obaseki of Edo State, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha of Imo, Dr Zainab Bagudu of Kebbi State, Sherifat Aregbesola of Osun state, wife of the first Gov. of Lagos, Mrs Abimbola Jakande, wife of the first military governor, Ndubuisi Kanu, Rep of Ondo State first lady, Special adviser on women affairs, Titi Adeyemi and others.
AND GOVERNORS TOO
As the First Ladies were large in numbers so also was the governors as well. They were at the event to celebrate women most especially their wives. Sighted was the special guest of honour, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State who declared the event opened and said: “COWLSO is a very powerful network that you have created in Lagos State. I can tell you that other states envy you for this’’. The Governor of Kebbi state, Alhaji Abubarka Bagudu declared the events closed and eulogized.
PLUS THE CURRENT AND PAST DEPUTY GOVS
Also the current deputy governor, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule was up and doing at the event, she led other former deputies to the event. Other former deputies present were Lagos deputy governors, Sarah Sosan and Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu and others.
HOW KEBBI GOV, BAGUDU GOT GOV AMBODE CLOSE TO TEARS
The event was one of the defining moments for Governor Ambode when the special guest of honour, Gov Abubarka Bagudu who is his bosom friend mounted the podium and made a good speech of Gov. Ambode. He praised him to high heavens, he enacted his emotions and made his head swell up when he reeled out how well he has known him and how being brave got him to where he is. He also commended Governor Ambode for achieving a lot for Lagos State, he said history would be kind to him for his great works in the state. “My friend Ambode doesn’t like to be praised; he is a very very private person and I always see a reflection of him in me that how do private people function in all our public work in politics. But gratefully he has done a lot for Lagos; he has continued in the tradition and understandably, he might have offended some people. “I have done so, many others before us have done so but he (Ambode) has demonstrated grace and being the believers that we are, we believe that history will judge him kindly. He holds no grudge against anybody. He has assured me and he loves the people of Lagos State and he is committed to their will,” Mr Bagudu said. Even the audience felt out of the emotions and all responded in affirmative that the Kebbi Governor has said well of Governor Ambode.
EKO HOTEL AS PERFECT HOST
Shutting down Eko Hotel for 3 days can surely be done by Lagos State itself. Eko convention centre was the muster points for all delegates where registration, identification and certification took place. To say it was very well set and decorated is an understatement, give it to the planning committee, they wowed everyone with the logistics been put into the event. Eko hotel provided the meals, drinks for the whole 3 days. All roads around Victoria Island was decked with a lot of traffic because of the high vehicular and pedestrian activities of the ceremony. The venue sat over 4000 guests who were all catered for who are mostly women. Part of the sight attractions at the closing ceremony was the special recognition award been presented to Mr Danny, the Hotel MD for Eko Hotel and Suites.
ABOUT COWLSO FOUNDER—FUNMILAYO JOHNSON
The event would not have been complete without appreciating the effort of the founder and initiator of COWLSO, Chief Mrs Funmilayo Johnson of blessed memory. She was highly praised for her unrelenting effort in founding the association. She was dubbed a humble yet leading light for the course of women in Lagos state.
WHEN ALAUSA WENT ON BREAK FOR 3 DAYS
Hardly will you count the number of women in Alausa because the secretariat was practically shut down and devoid of women for the whole 3days’ event. Almost all the directors of parastatals, commissioners, head of parastatals, Body of Permanent Secretary’s, Members of the state executive councils, all gathered together to celebrate with COWLSO.
JUSTICE BISI AKINLADE STOOD IN FOR CJ
Lagos chief judge, Justice Oke could not be at the event but she sent in one of her trusted judges in the judiciary, Justice Bisi Akinlade to represent her. Justice Akinlade was sighted wearing her usual black corporate wear and her low cut hair fits her perfectly. She looked very beautiful.
LAGOS HEAD OF SERVICE, FOLASHADE ADESOYE SENT PERM SEC
The 20th Lagos head of service, Mrs Folashade Adesoye was also recognized at the event but she was not there physically, she sent her permanent secretary to represent her in the person of Omobolanle Ogunmola who is the Permanent Secretary of Local Government Commissions.
2 LAGOS FORMER HEAD OF SERVICE, WERE THERE
At the event were 2 former heads of service, Seyi Williams and Olabowale Ademola, they also attended the event to support their boss and his wife.
TY BELLO WAS THE INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR
The award for the inspirational woman of the year was given to popular celebrity photographer, Toyin Bello popularly known as TY Bello who has done well for herself for over 10 years. The songstress and award-winning photographer was decorated with the award by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and was joined by Governor Ambode and his wife, Bolanle. Edo governor made good remarks of her when he said Toyin photographing him turned his campaign around when he was about to be elected as Edo governor.
MEET THE COWLSO EXCOS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
The executives and planning committee of COWLSO were applauded and commended for a job well done at the ceremony. The 3 days programme was filled with various activities and sessions which benefitted most attendees. The COWLSO executive was under the leadership of First Lady, Bolanle Ambode, the chairperson Arinola Oluwo, vice chairman, Falilat Olusola Obasa, secretary, Oyindamola Ogunsanwo, Chairperson of the planning committee are Dr Arin Oluwo, Mrs Adeyinka Abiru, Mrs Idowu Lai Mohammed, Mrs Rhoda Ayinde, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji Bello and over 60 others.
FEMALE ANCHORS, SOLA KOSOKO AND BUSOLA KUKOYI AT THEIR BEST
To best anchor, the event, 2 seasoned female presenters, Sola Kosoko and Busola Kukoyi were contracted for the ceremony and they did a perfect job. All protocols were duly followed and no order of event was missed out at the ceremony. They did so well last year too and did more than for the 18th edition.
THE AWARD WINNING COWLSO THEME SONG
The COWLSO theme song titled “WE ARE ONE” which was highly commended by the wife of Nigeria’s Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo at the last edition was one of the highlights of the ceremony. It was composed by award-winning music art, Dare Art Alade. It was launched at the last conference for the first time at the venue and also choreographed by an award-winning female dancer, Kaffy Ameh. It was a song that many loved to hear and they keep requesting for it over and over.
AT THE GALA NITE
The gala night was also one of the high points of the ceremony where all important dignitaries were treated to a sumptuous and delicious meal alongside exotic drinks. There were musical performances from wave making Nigerian acts, from Tiwa Savage, Olamide to Small doctor and Co. Popular Lagos Bandit was a night of networking where fashion and style took centre stage.
POWERFUL SPEECHES FROM TOP VVIPS
There were powerful speeches delivered by many individuals at the event. First was the chairman of COWLSO, Lagos First Lady, Akinwunmi Ambode, her husband, Akinwunmi Ambode, the special guests of honor, Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki and Kebbi Governor, Abubarka Bagudu, Lagos deputy governor, Idiat Oluranti Adebule, Lagos SSG, Tunji Bello, chief of staff to the governor, Samuel Olukunle Ojo, and Lagos head of service, Folashade Adesoye, the conference recap, feedback and communique was done by wife of Lagos SSG, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji Bello.
WIFE OF LAGOS SSG HANDLED THE CONFERENCE RECAP
Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji Bello is part of the COWLSO member and she did excellently well at the conference. She handled all the conference recap, feedback and communique. According to her, she said the government must put structures and policies in place to address the issues of children having children. “The government at all levels, policymakers in health sector both at State and local levels, family, society, NGO and so on, must all rise and resolve to eliminate the menace by enacting a policy for a reduction in the minimum age in rendering family planning services from 13 to 15 years,”.
COWLSO SECRETARY GAVE VOTE OF THANKS
The secretary of COWLSO planning committee and wife of the Lagos state house of assembly chief whip, Mrs Adeyinka Abiru gave the vote of thanks. She thanked all sponsors numbering over 20, special guests of honour and also recognized all the award recipients and all the women.
WHAT IS THE SECRET OF MRS. KEMI NELSON’S BEAUTY?
At mid-60s, APC national women leader, south-west, chief Mrs Kemi Nelson has a glowing beauty which is very noticeable at a distance? At the last COWLSO event, she looked far younger than 60 and the question on everyone’s mouth is what is her secret.? she has maintained her beautiful skin over time and also has a lovely figure to go with it, not only that, in the fashion sector, Mrs Kemi has scored high. She is not slowing down within the social milieu and her signature outfits mostly her headgear are one of her staying power.
FEMI OTEDOLA’S MUM LOOKING GOOD @ 87
The gracefully ageing mother of Forte oil boss, Femi Otedola, popularly called Lady Doja was at the event. She is also a former first lady in Lagos. Many were not surprised at her presence because she is from Epe where the governor, Ambode hails from. She came all the way to support Gov Ambode, whom she calls his son and his wife at the conference. The 87-year-old woman looked well for her age and she was seen hale and hearty.
LSDPC TOPSHOTS STORM EVENT
At the event were some of the officials of the LSDPC, wife of the LSDPC acting MD, Mrs Har Yusuf, Director of Admin wife, Mrs Lateef, AGM, Property Mgt, Mrs Jibike Onigbanjo, AGM, Estate, Funke Atere and AGM of legal Services, Busola Akinbiyi and others.
OTHER DIGNITARIES WERE PRESENT
Gov Ambode’s chief of staff fondly called Baba, Samuel Ojo, Lagos SSG, Tunji Bello, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu was not at the event but his 3 Oloris and white cap chiefs stood in for him, wife of Lagos state APC Chairman, Alhaji Tolani Balogun and his wife, 3 time senator and Lagos APC women leader, Jumoke Okoya Thomas, Emzor Pharmaceuticals boss, Stella Okoli, who was also giving a special recognition award, chairman of Lagos state civil service commission, Former Lagos state commissioner for justice and attorney general of Lagos, Justice Wonu Folami, The wife of Late justice Muri Okunola, Mrs Fehintola Okunola, chief Mrs Oyemade, Mrs Aramide Oduntan, wife of former Lagos deputy governor, Chief Mrs Oprah Benson, Marie Fatyi Williams, Justice Jumoke Pedro, commissioner for youth, Mrs Akinbile, Jibike Shomade, Barrister Laide Osijo and many others.