What Mrs. BOLANLE AMBODE Told Participants
It is the 19th National Women’s Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, (COWLSO), and not a few participants will attest to the impact it has made in the lives of our women over the years. This impact is what we have come to stregthen with this edition of our conference. As it is the tradition of COWLSO to hold a conference once every year, we have gathered again to examine issues that pertain to women on the one hand and the society on the other. Distinguished guests, I specially welcome all dignitaries in attendance, who despite distance and their busy schedules, have journeyed down here, for the pogramme. Most respectfully, I welcome our Special Guest of Honour, His Excellence, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, for graciously honouring our invitation.
Similarly, I welcome the Grand Matron of COWLSO, the most distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu and former COWLSO chairmen in attendance.
I warmly welcome our Chief Host and my darling husband, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State. Thank you for being with us as you have always done.
Time will not permit the rendition of all the encominums you deserve for all that you did for women in the state and to move COWLSO to its current level. Your promise to me at inception was that you would offer all the support within your power to take COWLSO to the next level. Within a few years, your kind support has lifted the committee to the vintage level it now occupies.
Your Excellency, all the women of COWLSO are grateful. We pray that God bless you abundantly and grant you good health. Thank you sir!
I also very warmly welcome all the state governors or their representatives in attendance. Thank you for the great honour. In the same vein, I warmly welcome my lovely sisters, wives of governors, who have travelled long distances down to Lagos, to identify with us as they have always done. I am proud of you all and happy to have you around us. I also welcome delegates from other states. May God bless you all.
Distinguished guests, without being immodest, women all over the world are pillars of growth and development of their countries. In many ways, women have continued to play roles that demonstrate how important they are to the progress of their countries economically, politically, socially and in all other areas that matter. Women in Nigeria are no different, and we are happy that women in Lagos State are setting the pace.
Our quest to continually improve the welfare of women and sustain the vintage position of Lagos state in the federation, are key objectives behind our coming together annually, to discuss the way forward. This year, we will be examining topics around the central theme: ‘Strengthening Our Collective Impact’. When we come together and collaborate, either in govenment establishments, privately owned businesses, N.G.Os or wherever, we tend to achieve significant and lasting social change that would be beneficial to all. We have the unique ability of looking at problems and coming up with solutions that would transform lives and make the world a better place. Thus, women should learn to come together, support each other and discard unproductive habits. There is advantage in numerical strength.
As usual, we have carefully selected tested facilitators and speakers to do justice to the various topics. Notably, some of the topics to be examined are: ‘Vulnerable but not Defenceless’. Who are the vulnerable? How have they been able to come out of life threatening challenges and how can anyone in such situation seek help?
‘The Hazards of Teenage Pregnancy’, focuses on children having children: ‘Life of Purpose: Navigating aspects of life successfully’. This would focus on doing things today that would set you aside for tomorrow’s success despite challenges. We will also be looking at ‘What marriage means to us’. This will examine the role of perseverance, the things to consider when getting married and lots more. Some of the facilitators include: Dr. Veronica Ayo Iwayemi, Mrs. Folashade Adetiba, Mrs. Bridget Itsueli, Mrs. Funmi Oyetunji, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, and many others.
The founding objective of COWLSO is to actively assist the government in improving the welfare of women in the state.
In the last 3 years, our committee has executed many health-related projects, which have recorded impressive impact on the health of babies, children, youths, women and the aged ones. Two years ago, we upgraded the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department of the Lagos Island General Hospital, Odah while also sponsoring goiter operation for some women. Last year, we continued our intervention by donating Portable Otoread OAEs equipment to Shomolu and Alimosho General Hospitals, as well as two Transport Incubator Ambulance, to Gbagada General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity Hospital.
These facilities aptly described as ‘womb on wheels’, are to be deployed to convey preterm babies also known as ‘premature babies’, to government facilities equipped with neo-natal ICU, to save their lives.
The Transport Incubator is fully equipped with life-support gadgets and other conveniences, making it a womb-like environment for the baby, to enhance its chances of survival while being evacuated to the ICU. Those special ambulance buses can also be used to convey infants with severe post birth complications, and others in serious emergency situations.
The women of COWLSO reckon that with this intervention, many more newborns, infants and children in Lagos State, will be saved from avoidable deaths with attendant happiness to their parents. The women are happy to contribute this way to the progress of our state and the overall happiness of the citizenry. Our Inspirational Woman of The Year will soon be unveiled and decorated by our Special Guest of Honour.
As usual, our Gala nite, filled with fun and entertainment, comes up tomorrow evening. Do not miss it as much fun awaits you with lots of juicy prizes to be won. I use this opportunity to express profound gratitude to individuals and corporate sponsors, who have consistently stood by us, ensuring that COWLSO continues to go from strength to strength.
On this note, I warmly welcome everyone to this edition of our National Women’s Conference. Relax and enjoy every bit of it.