COWLSO Urges Women To Rise Against Children Becoming Mothers

COWLSO Urges Women To Rise Against Children Becoming Mothers

 …Ambode Demonstrated Grace, Holds No Grudges- Bagudu

 …Says Lagos Gov’s Efforts Ensured 90% Reduction In Nigeria’s Rice Importation

Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu on Thursday showered accolades on his counterpart in Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for the high sense of maturity displayed in the wake of the political developments in the State, saying the latter demonstrated grace which has united the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2019 elections.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 18th National Women Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Bagudu said while it was inevitable to offend people in life, Governor Ambode had since moved on and holds no grudges against anybody.

Bagudu, who also commended Governor Ambode for achieving a lot for Lagos State, 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 does 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,” Bagudu said.

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While lauding the Governor Ambode for the Lake Rice initiative, Bagudu said apart from rekindling hope in the ability of Nigerians to achieve a lot for the country, the project also led to 90 per cent reduction in rice Importation.

“Governor Ambode spoke about one of the things I believe is a measure of his greatness which is the partnership between Lagos and Kebbi. Ambode and I have worked in farms in Kebbi State and without Ambode, there wouldn’t have been Lake Rice.

“I want to say it again that without Ambode, there wouldn’t have been Lake Rice and the significance of Lake Rice is that it encouraged a revival in the ‘we can do spirit’ and Mr President captured it adequately when he said at least now when we tell the world we are going to do something they better take us seriously.

“Those Nigerians and a lot of Africans and well wishers who saw Mr President when he visited Prime Minister Theresa May and later on President Trump and announced enthusiastically that Nigeria has reduced its rice importation by 90 per cent can humbly say that without Ambode we wouldn’t have achieved that.

“He (Ambode) supported the Nigerian Rice Initiative and in turn without her excellency Mrs Bolanle Ambode and the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials and the great women of Lagos State who encouraged and supported the Lake Rice and the Nigerian Rice project, that wouldn’t have been possible and so I thank you all for what you have done for Nigeria and what we have done to show that it is possible,” Bagudu said.

Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu (2nd right); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); his wife and Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Bolanle (left); Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Dr. (Mrs.) Arinola Oluwo (right) and recipient, Friend of COWLSO Certificate of Appreciation, Mr. Danny Kioupouroglou, Managing Director, Eko Hotels, (middle) during the closing ceremony of COWLSO’s 18th National Women’s Conference, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu (2nd right); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); his wife and Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Bolanle (left); Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Dr. (Mrs.) Arinola Oluwo (right) and recipient, Friend of COWLSO Certificate of Appreciation, Mr. Danny Kioupouroglou, Managing Director, Eko Hotels, (middle) during the closing ceremony of COWLSO’s 18th National Women’s Conference, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Corroborating his colleague, Governor Ambode said the Lake Rice initiative had significantly impacted on the economic fortunes of not only Lagos and Kebbi States but also the entire nation, saying Bagudu also deserved commendation for the success of the partnership.

Besides, Governor Ambode congratulated executives and members of COWLSO for another very successful conference, saying it was on record that Mrs Ambode, along with other hardworking and committed members, had succeeded in taking the association and the annual conference to a higher level.

The Governor said from testimonies, the conference was yet another rewarding two days of networking, eye-opening, educative and inspiring experiences, adding that it now behooves participants to spread the knowledge gained.

According to him, “The opportunity to be part of a conference such as this is a privilege which also comes with a corresponding responsibility. In the spirit of the theme of this conference: “Strengthening Our Collective Impact”, you all have a responsibility to share this experience with other women and men around you.

“This is the only way that the impact of the knowledge gained at this conference can be widened and deepened. It is a burden each and every one of you have to discharge to the best of your abilities.

“The government, no doubt, also has its own responsibility in terms of giving due and deserving consideration to the recommendations contained in your communiqué. I can assure you of our commitment to do our best in this regard,” Governor Ambode said.

In a communiqué for the conference, COWLSO said it was time for women to rise against the menace of children becoming mothers, especially by putting machinery in place for continuous sensitisation and advocacy to address and eliminate the root-causes and consequences.

According to the communiqué which was read by Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, wife of the Secretary to the State Government, COWLSO said government must put structures and policies in place to address the issues of children having children.

“The Government at all levels, policy makers 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,” the communiqué read in part.

Governor Ambode Tasks Women On Action And Unity of Purpose

Governor Ambode Tasks Women On Action And Unity of Purpose

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has charged women in the country to engage action and embrace unity of purpose, to achieve significant and lasting social change beneficial to all.

The governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 18th edition of the National Women’s Conference, held at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to him, the theme of this year’s conference, “Strengthening Our Collective Impact,” was a call for unity of purpose and coordinated action among women, to achieve their goals.

The governor said COWLSO had worked ceaselessly to complement the efforts of their spouses in government, stressing that “we are proud of your achievements, particularly in the area of giving hope and succour to the less privileged, through donations both in cash and kind. The theme of this conference is very apt and a call for unity of purpose and action.”

He said he had no doubt that the conference would impact participants, urging to attend the various segments of the conference as they had been packaged to add value to their lives.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said without being immodest, women all over the world were pillars of growth and development of their countries, as they had played roles that demonstrated how important they were to the progress of their countries economically, politically, socially and in all other areas that mattered.

She noted that women in Nigeria were no different, and that COWLSO was happy that women in Lagos State were setting the pace, adding that “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 government 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.”

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Mrs Ambode urged women to learn to come together, support each other and discard unproductive habits, as there was advantage in numerical strength, hinting that tested facilitators and speakers had been invited to do justice to the various topics, such as ‘Vulnerable but not Defenceless,’ ‘The Hazards of Teenage Pregnancy,’ ‘Life of Purpose – Navigating aspects of life successfully’ and ‘What marriage means to us.’

She recalled that in the last three years, COWLSO had executed many health-related projects, which had recorded impressive impact on the health of babies, children, youths, women and the aged ones.

She listed them to include the upgrade of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department of the Lagos Island General Hospital, Odan while also sponsoring goiter operation for some women two years ago and donating Portable Otoread OAEs equipment to four general hospitals-Badagry, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikorodu and Gbagada General Hospital last year.

Mrs. Ambode further said last year, the committee donated an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Lagos Island Maternity, while this year, COWLSO donated 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.

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“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,” she stated.

Declaring the conference open, Governor of Edo State, Dr. Godwin Obaseki said the programme had helped in connecting the family with government, as wives of government officials had always ensured that they supported their husbands in the smooth running of government.

“This is a powerful network, it is powerful because it serves as opportunity for government to reach its people in another perspective of what is going on across the state,” he said, adding that it was only the family of government officials who would be able to point them in the right direction when they appeared to derail from the track.

Obaseki commended COWLSO for its intervention in the health sector through donations of health equipment to hospitals as well as making significant contributions for the wellbeing of the less privileged in the society, adding that the committee served as inspiration to many states, as such ideas had been replicated in many states, while assuring that Edo State would soon replicate same for women in the state.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of the Inspirational Woman Award to Mrs Toyin Sokefun-Bello, popularly known as ‘TY Bello’, for her outstanding work in photography and creative art.

 

2018 COWLSO Conference Will Be Outstanding, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Assures

2018 COWLSO Conference Will Be Outstanding, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Assures

…Okorocha, Bagudu, Others To Grace Event

Wife of Lagos State Governor and chairman of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, (COWLSO) Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday assured participants that the 18th National Women’s Conference of the Committee would be better than the previous editions.

She spoke in her office at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, while giving some insight into the level of preparation for the three-day conference, holding from Tuesday 23rd to Thursday, 25th October, at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

Mrs. Ambode said that the conference theme ‘Strengthening Our Collective Impact’, would focus on the advantages derivable when women act together, as against when they act individually.

According to her, “This theme focuses on the advantages derivable from our collective impact, compared to when we act alone. If you take a closer look at our society, women are strong willed. It is very obvious that God created and endowed us with skills, innate abilities and a hidden strength that no one can explain”.

“When we come together and collaborate, whether in government establishments, privately owned businesses, NGOs or wherever we find ourselves, we tend to achieve significant lasting social change that will be beneficial to all. We have unique powers of being able to look at problems and come up with solutions that would transform lives and make the world a better place.”

Speaking further, the Chairman of COWLSO said that the Conference would be declared open by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and declared closed by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, adding that major highlights would come up as usual, including the fun-filled gala nite on day two of the conference, where lots of mouth watering prizes would be won.

She disclosed that free transportation had been provided from the conference venue to Yaba, Ketu, Oshodi, Mile 12, Ojo, Agege, Ojodu-Berger, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikorodu and Lekki-Ajah, for the convenience of participants, on day two which is the gala nite.

Shedding light on the resource side of the conference, she listed topics for discussion to include: ‘Vulnerable but not Defenceless; ‘Hazards of Teenage Pregnancy’ and ‘Life of Purpose – Navigating Aspects of Life Successfully’, to be examined by seasoned facilitators like Dr. Veronica Ayo Iwayemi, Folashade Adetiba and Omotola Rotimi among others.

She added that one of the major highlights of the three-day conference, is the Inspirational Woman Of The Year Award, often given to a woman of impact, generally acknowledged in the society, and certificates of appreciation would also be given to individuals and organizations for their long-standing partnership and support for COWLSO.

In addition to a live-streaming of the conference according to her, non-participants could follow the programme on www.lagosonline.tv;www.facebook.com/followlasg; twitter handle- @followlasg and You Tube.com/lasgpage.

The National Women’s Conference is organized once every year by COWLSO

Mrs. Ambode Canvasses Exclusive Breast-Feeding of Babies

Mrs. Ambode Canvasses Exclusive Breast-Feeding of Babies

Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Bolanle Ambode, has again reminded nursing mothers and pregnant women the importance of exclusive breast-feeding of newborn babies.

She disclosed this during a telephone interview on the occasion of this year’s World Breast-feeding Week, held in the first week of August every year.

Bolanle noted that the benefits of breast milk to the infant were too profound to be ignored, as it was an important foundation for a baby’s life, capable of determing whether the baby would live or otherwise.

She said putting a baby to the breast in the first hour of life was a major safeguard against infant’s death, adding that exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months, help them to grow, prevents under nutrition, promotes brain development while reducing the risk of overweight.

She said further that breast milk was vital because it acts as the baby’s first vaccine, boosting its immunity.

According to her, “Nothing can compare to the breast milk, no matter the nutritional value of the baby formula, it cannot adequately take the place of breast milk in the life of the new born”.

“God who created it in His own special way to be baby-friendly, has made it the most important and most beneficial type of food a baby gets to know. Nursing mothers should not make excuses of their jobs or career for not doing exclusive breastfeeding because the advantages to the baby are too many”, she submitted.

The governor’s wife commended the theme for this year: “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life”, describing it as the basic truth about the practice.

She explained further that breastfeeding was good bonding between mother and infant, adding that improved breastfeeding practices around the world, could save the lives of nearly one million children under five years, according to international health bodies.

Lagos Goes Tough On Drug Abuse, Plans 1000-Man Walk Against Scourge

Lagos Goes Tough On Drug Abuse, Plans 1000-Man Walk Against Scourge

…Women Strategically Positioned To Stop Teenage Rape, Pregnancy

In a bid to step up its campaign against all forms of drug abuse, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it has concluded plans to stage a 1000-man walk against the scourge and raise awareness on its inherent danger especially among youths.

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri who disclosed this while addressing journalists at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, ahead of the launch of a rigorous and renewed campaign under the acronym, Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA), said the Government was leaving no stone unturned in its effort to dissuade youths who are prime victims of the practice.

According to the Commissioner, the campaign will adopt a tripod approach including events, engagements with stakeholders and awareness campaign, adding that it would be flagged off by a 1000 man symbolic walk against drug abuse in the State.

He said the walk, which will hold on Thursday, June 21, would commence from Ikeja Bus Stop- under the bridge and would terminate at the Blue Roof, LTV, Agidingbi, where the official launch of LASKADA would take place.

He said participants at the walk will include students, members of voluntary organizations, sports men and women, members of Nongovernmental organisations, local government and youth representatives, local youth council representatives, faith based organisations, government functionaries, among others.

“What we want to do on Thursday is to launch this campaign and show that we are ready for war against all forms of drug abuse. Once we launch out, we are going to have series of activities on various platforms and we will employ every avenue to ensure that the campaign gets to the nook and cranny in the State,” he said.

Dabiri added that the campaign will also involve a stakeholders’ sensitization session to deliberate on the menace and proffer likely intervention to tackle the issue holistically.

“The stakeholders will include parents, youths, professional bodies include Pharmacists, NDLEA, psychiatrists, traditional medicine board, patent medicine sellers, NURTW, Tricycle and okada riders unions and a communiqué will be issued at the end of the session.

He said the campaign train will also move to primary, secondary and higher institutions as well as to the communities adding that it would be implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Youth Ambassadors, Lagos State Youth Parliament and NGOs in their immediate community.

Besides, the Commissioner said that mosque, churches and faith based organization will be implored to dedicate a day to enlighten worshippers on drug abuse and canvass support for the fight against the menace.

“The youth group is the largest population in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State and this segment is considered the most vulnerable group as far as drug and alcohol issues are concerned. Thus, their health and optimal development is critical to national development agenda and deserves significant attention. Drug abuse is real and we should not fold our arms and watch the scourge continue, partner with us and lets all say “No to Drug Abuse”, Dabiri said.

In a related development, Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode said women must use their strategic position as builders of the home-front to adequately fortify their children and wards with right virtuous to stem the tide of rape and teenage pregnancy in the society.

Speaking at a special Lagos Women Forum put together by her office held at Police College in Ikeja, the wife of the Governor said as coordinators of the family unit, women have the responsibility to bring up their children in most decent ways and be good examples to them.

According to her, “We as women have a great role to play in combating the social evils of rape and teenage pregnancy. Our natural role as mothers and coordinators of the family unit, imposes responsibilities on us, to bring up the boy and the girl child in the most decent way, to stem the tide of rape and teenage pregnancy in our society.”

She said young girls who suffer abuse and become pregnant stand the risk of medical complications, stressing however that conscious effort must be made in their upbringing to achieve the desired results including early enrolment in school, sound moral lessons and exposure to the ways and things of God.

Besides, Mrs Ambode expressed concern over the disturbing trend of domestic violence against women which sometimes result in deaths, saying it was time for women to come together and jointly speak out against the menace.

“By publicly speaking out against domestic violence, together we can challenge attitudes that breed violence in the homes and everywhere. We must insist that domestic violence is a social crimes and not acceptable in our society. That is why we have brought seasoned speakers, to talk to us on issues of social menace, and our expected roles as mothers and home builders.

In her keynote address, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Idiat Adebule commended the wife of the Governor for the initiative to gather women together for the purpose of enhancing their welfare and health, saying the strategic importance of women in the society could not be overemphasized.

She said women should no longer be stereotyped into silence but rather become vocal advocates for improved health delivery system and social justice, adding that the womenfolk also have the responsibility of investing and increasing access of more girls and women to good health, quality education, and as well ensuring that laws respect and ensure the rights of women are enforced.

The Deputy Governor, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Education, said as part of efforts to protect the future of girls who are abused, the State Government recently established a special school for people in such category to have another opportunity to be educated.

“We have equally established the alternative school for the girls who, in the course of their lifetime, get pregnant and could not continue their education. Our government has provided that particular school for them to have a second chance in life,” Adebule said.