- What She Said At COWLSO
At the just concluded 3 day ceremony of the 17th national women conference in Lagos organised by committee of wives of the Lagos state officials, COWLSO,her excellency, Mrs Oludolapo Osinbajo was the mother of the day and she stormed the opening ceremony amidst pomp and pageantry.She was well celebrated at the event and her speech was one of the most wordy and emulating speech she has ever given in the gathering of women.The very reserved and simple No 2 woman in Nigeria glowed in a lovely teal green lace and matched it up with a teal striped yellow headgear.
Mrs Oludolapo Osinbajo is also the granddaughter of one greatest hero that walked past the earth, the perpetrator of free education in Nigeria, talking of no other than Pa Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory.She is the daughter of Mrs. Otunba Olubusola Soyode one of the children of Obafemi Awolowo, she lost her mum in the year 2011.
Mrs. Oludolapo Osinbajo, nee Soyode, happens to be the only daughter of her parents. She also happens to be the leader of the Ladies Fellowship of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus House Parish in Lagos.
She was one of the wives of the Lagos state officials when her husband, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo served as the Attorney General of Lagos for many years. As part of this conference, she delivered a powerful speech where she recognized the pioneers of COWLSO, how it was resuscitated and where it has gotten right now, for the time she shared her many years of friendship with former Lagos First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu who resuscitated COWLSO.She talked glowingly about her and took the audience down memory lane how she became a public speaker. In her speech,she says,
“Congratulations to COWLSO, the committee of wives of Lagos State officials on this years conference, her excellency,Mrs Abolanle Ambode and her husband, her excellency, the wife of the president of federal republic of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari sent her greetings to you in Lagos, I should have captured her big smile in a picture to show you when I told her I was coming to Lagos for COWLSO,So she sends you a greeting and also a big smile.
I wish to thank you for your kind invitation to she creates, she transforms, I am honoured to be here and glad to have the privilege of addressing this great conference, looking around this hall this morning, I see beauty, strength,I see energy of the participants of COWLSO 2017 ,when women gather, something special happens,it is extra special when men join in the gathering of women. COWLSO has stood the test of time since its inception, it has grown, in leaps and bounds and has really come into its own,
I salute the convener and the organizing committee for what must have been many hours, many days of hardwork to put this event together,as we appreciate the work done today, it is important to look back and give honour to whom honour is due, to remember the pioneers of this work,our mothers that started it and handed it down,from one season to another ,handing down the baton,teaching each successive group to take care of their vision, keep it,grow it,and faithfully hand it to those in the next season,look behind you strong and visionary women did great things.
Look ahead of you, the next generation is waiting for you to teach them and to train them,they watch to see how you create things that are of worth and transform all things to make it good. Creating a better world than the one you met, they are just waiting to copy you, those who went before are season one,today we are season 2, the ones following after us are season 3.
The theme she creates, she transforms is most fitting at this time, this theme portrays our women as active and not dull, do not believe what they say about us,our women, they create, they transform, they are enterprising,they are not lazy. She creates ,she transforms assures us that our women have an impact on their environment, on their world,and they have a say, they have a voice and their voice will be heard.As the different speakers come to teach,to instruct, to inspire, there is a potential that this will be a turning point in the lives of many who attended,which will translate to a transformation for the better in our homes ,offices and communities.
The theme song we have had has indeed set the tone for this movement.This upward call to do better, go higher, work harder, shine brighter in unity,peace and progress,some may imagine that these are just mere words,but they are wrong, from the moment I heard the song when Mrs Ambode shared it with me, I knew it is a call to join forces to make things better.You are here today because you have heeded that call to enlist in the group of those who are determined to make a difference to create, to transform.
I congratulate the COWLSO members for inviting all to this call to enlist as change agents, I remember many years ago when her excellency, senator Oluremi Tinubu,the then First Lady of Lagos State took up the challenge to resuscitate COWLSO,my husband was the attorney general of Lagos state at that time, I remember she had an old pamphlet of a COWLSO event held many years before as she spoke to wives of the officials of the Lagos State about the importance of reviving and running with the vision of COWLSO,
I remember so vividly a retreat we held at Akodo,the beach resort,when she encouraged me to speak out,I was so anxious and reluctant but till today I remember what I said,if we each do a little ,we can do a lot and of course public speaking got easier for me after that first time,I will like the representatives of her excellency, Sen Oluremi Tinubu to give her the message that from that day till now, I am still speaking and I thank her for her encouragement.
It is important for me to share with you the need for us as we move forward to look back to see where we were coming from,to see what stuff we are made of ,to know what we are capable of as we honour her excellency ,Mrs Johnson of blessed memory who started this work equiving a legacy of service and impact on the wives of the officials of Lagos State”.
The number 2 woman has been married for 28 years and together with the Vice President,Prof. Oluyemi Osinbajo, they are blessed with three lovely children, a boy and two girls, ‘Kanyinsola, Kiki, and Fiyinfoluwa’.In the year 2007, they both founded “The Orderly Society Trust”, a non- governmental organization that is dedicated to the promotion of Christian ethics and orderliness.
Mrs. Oludolapo Osinbajo who studied and qualified as a lawyer just like her husband, is also a writer and she is the author of the book, ‘They Call Me Mama!’ which chronicles her experiences interacting with and reforming street boys in Lagos Island.
In October 2014, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo launched her book, ‘They Call Me Mama, From the Under Bridge Diaries’ in Lagos. She said that her drive to write the book came from her experiences with some street boys and men in Lagos State, and with the book, she aims to give them a human face.