Fashola, Chime Urge Women To Participate In Coming Voters Registration Exercise
• As COWLSO's 10th National Women Confab ends in Lagos
Oct 29, 2010 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and his Enugu State counterpart, Mr Sullivan Chime on Friday declared the 10th National Women Conference closed, urging women to participate in the electoral process by registering to vote in the forthcoming elections.
Addressing the gathering of women participants drawn from all States of the Federation at the Eko Hotel Victoria Island, Governor Sullivan Chime who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi called on Nigerian women to spearhead the campaign for all Nigerians to vote and be voted for.
Also speaking in same vein, Governor Fashola charged the women to participate in the forthcoming exercise, so that their voices can be heard, adding that his party (the Action Congress of Nigeria) has already reserved a spot for a woman in addition to a youth and a man representative at every ward, local Government and State Congresses.
The Lagos State Governor explained that women should pick the gauntlet by taking up the reserved space, warning that if they fail to do it may not be surprising if men take up the position and purport to represent the interest of the women.
He also urged the women to prevail on their children to avoid participation in any form of violence during elections, stressing that an election is not a war but a contest to choose the best candidate who will take the people to the promised land.
Governor Fashola said an election should be a carnival like exercise which people should feel free to take their children to and not the other way round.
Speaking on the reliability and doggedness of women especially those in the public service of Lagos State, whom he has served with, Governor Fashola said not only have they shattered glass ceilings but have succeeded in bringing down all barriers that inhibit women from achieving their goals.
Said he: "You have confounded many by exhibiting your passion for success and the passion for yourself".
Governor Fashola who also dwelt on some of the papers presented at the three day conference, said the issue of Climate Change has been brought closer to the people with the experiences recorded in Ajegunle, Ikorodu, Zamfara, Sokoto and Abuja where whole villages have been submerged by flood.
Governor Fashola added that a major impact of the Climate Change is in terms of the availability and affordability of food because many of the food crops that people will eat have been washed away by the floods.
He explained that part of what should be taken away by the participants is that climate change has significant impact on the quality of life that the people live, adding that they should think of what can be done to control the negative effect.
The Lagos State helmsman also said the discussion of how to have a better dress sense by the women is not out of place since Lagos is the fashion capital of Africa.
The Enugu State Governor who congratulated Governor Fashola for the giant strides he has recorded in Lagos State noted that it would not have been possible without his supportive wife.
He said the accomplishment of the Council of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) justifies the pride of place that women occupy in the scheme of things.
Mr Chime urged all Governments to accord higher recognition and attention to the aspiration of women as they have proven to be wonderful partners in governance and other careers.
While fully endorsing the need for all Governments to be gender sensitive as the Lagos and Enugu States Government are doing, the Enugu State helmsman said no national development or contribution can be meaningful without women.
Governor Sullivan Chime said rather than asking for a particular percentage in representation for women, they need to utilize their strength to contest and win whatever position or seat is available.
He said with the several conferences and conventions already held on women from Arusha to Geneva to Beijing, what is needed is to translate the recommendation into concrete action plans for fuller participation of women in the day to day running of the country.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairman of COWLSO and First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola said the 10th conference has been another enriching exercise that will impact positively on the lives of not only COWLSO members but also in the lives of other people around them.
She also disclosed that the conference shall be supporting four homes and orphanages in recognition of their efforts and dedication to the care of the less privileged in the society with a token of N250,000 each.
The four orphanages that received cheques of N250,000, at the event were the Children's Development Centre, Surulere, Arrows of God Orphanages, Ajah, Missionaries of Charity, Ketu and Home of God's Grace for the Orphaned and Widows, Agbowa.
Certificates of Appreciation to Friends of COWLSO were also presented to Mrs Ifeoma Williams and Mrs Sherifat Andu at the event.
A 10th Anniversary cake of the National Women Conference was cut as part of the closing ceremonies.
Prominent among those who attended the ceremony were First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, former wives of former Lagos State Governors, Chief (Mrs) Oluremi Tinubu (OON), Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, Mrs Josephine Akhigbe, members of the State Executive Council and the wife of the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Lagos State, Mrs Toun Ajomale.