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Mrs. Abimbola Fashola (L) with Barr. Chioma Ohakim at the closing ceremony of the 8th National Women Conference of COWLSO.
Mrs. Abimbola Fashola (L) discussing with Barr. Chioma Ohakim (2nd L), Princess Sarah Sosan (2nd R) and Hon. Mrs Funmi Tejuosho.
Oct 31, 2008 - Closing Ceremony Of The 8th National Women Conference
As we draw the curtains on yet another memorable COWLSO conference the 8th in the series, I am thankful to Almighty God, and all of you who in so many ways from planning, sponsoring, participating actively, and playing many diverse roles have all contributed to what I believe has been a very successful conference.
From last year, when we decided to set our goals and make it happen, we have proceeded on a journey of discovery and self realization by the choice of a theme that provokes very deep reflection – Woman – Who Are You?
From the opening day, through the Goodwill Message of our Patron, my darling husband, His Excellency, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, very useful and inspiring records of the historic sacrifices and achievements by women who shaped our society and world were brought to the fore.
The heroic, selfless and sometimes supreme sacrifices of women like Madam Tinubu, Nanny of the Maroons, Mary Slessor, Professor Jadesola Akande, Bimbo Odukoya, Benizar Bhutto, Kudirat Abiola, Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti and of course our own Matriarch, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji were highlighted as very useful illustrations of the character, essence and role of women in sustaining life, protecting life, liberating slaves, fighting for women rights, enthroning democracy and promoting commerce and prosperity to mention but a few.
In the message from our Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, Officer of the Order of the Niger, the Executive Governor and Chief Servant of Niger State, the rights of women were vividly reiterated against the background of opportunistic attempts to subjugate women and deny those rights.
More recently, very strong international debates have raged about whether or not the practice that permits a man to marry more than one wife in violation of a contract he freely made and at the same time condemns a woman from the choice of more than one partner is not discriminatory and worthy of condemnation.
Our very resourceful persons, all of whom I am very proud of and immensely grateful to, have done justice to the theme and provided useful answers and roadmaps to the questions raised in this year’s conference theme.
From the very insightful analysis of the law and rights governing the contract of marriage, to serious health issues that affect lifestyle such as exercises and the global scourge of HIV/AIDS, and the unique pre-disposition of women to certain types of cancers, we have all become better informed, and I believe, better prepared to overcome obstacles that may prevent us from being who we are.
Through a discussion on imaging, our public comportment, self confidence, carriage and choices about what suits us even as we are diverse in our similarities have been highlighted.
As we continue to discharge our unique roles as the vessels of life and the sustainers of the home and community we have become better informed and therefore better prepared to deal with challenges of motherhood and parenting, while at the same time engaging in business and entrepreneurship through small scale enterprises to support our families.
Our soft and very attractive virtues of beauty, given in God’s infinite and unquestionable wisdom did not go un-discussed in the paper on Beauty Tips, while the useful and insightful suggestions about managing stress as we combine the home front with career responsibilities will certainly equip us to discharge our multi-dimensional and multi-task obligations to a society that depends so much on us.
As we close the Conference, I believe we have discovered so much about ourselves and about what more we can be and about what more we can do to continue to be the Creator’s chosen vessels of life to perpetuate humanity, His most favoured creations.
Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in line with our tradition, we want to use this occasion to express our immense gratitude to some individuals and some corporate organisations for their selflessness, generosity and service to humanity especially for the continuous support we have received from them over the years.
First, I must thank His Excellency, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, Governor of Imo State, for accepting our invitation to be Special Guest of Honour at this Closing Ceremony and for doing all of what it may have taken, to be personally present today. You do us a very big honour and our gratitude defies description.
One of the certificates of appreciation is a post-humous award to Chief Solomon Adebayo Ayoku, who died last year. Other recipients are Chief Kessington Adebutu – Managing Director/CEO, Premiere Lottery, Dangote Group and Mrs. Laja Adedoyin, Founder of Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice.
Permit me at this point to acknowledge the hard work, sacrifice and commitment of members of the working committee particularly, Mrs. Idowu Panox, Mrs. Toun Ajomale, Mrs. Tundun Oki and Mrs. Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins. I thank you so much for your support. God bless you all.
Distinguished participants, I thank you for your cooperation. I wish you all unquantifiable success in your various endeavours and as we have discovered who we are and begin the return journey to our various destinations, I bid you all abundant journey mercies back to your various destinations. By the special grace of God, next year’s edition will be more successful.
God bless you.
Eko o ni baje.
Mrs. Abimbola Fashola
The First Lady of Lagos State