Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday called on women to mobilise massively to elect the Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s President in 2023, recalling how he (Tinubu) revived the economy of the state from bankruptcy in 1999 as Governor.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 22nd National Women’s Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, said the way to build the nation of our collective dreams is for women to mobilise their husbands, cousins, and children to vote for Tinubu who has a track excellent performance.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said: “We are a nation of history and part of our problem as a nation is that we have forgotten our history; is that we have westernised ourselves; is that we have broken our developmental trend. How do we bring it back? We must bring it back by allowing people who have precedents to do the work. It is as simple as that.
“Look at how beautiful and impactful this conference had been. It is because everybody came together to work hard led by a very competent First Lady. So, if we want a nation our own children and grandchildren will be happier than us, it is time to vote for a man who has done it before.
“There are no two ways about it; we must look at what people have done and how they have done it. People forget that in 1999, Lagos State was bankrupt; this state did not have a single ambulance in 1999. Only seven percent of the roads in Lagos State were tarred in 1999. So, a lot has happened and the foundation was laid by the man Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We are not being sentimental; we are just saying let us move our country forward. We belong in the nation of the disciplined and respected not just we go somewhere and they are saying Nigerians should move to one side. No! We are a very important people and the future of the black man in the world rests on Nigeria and we should not miss this opportunity.”
Also speaking, Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum called for deliberate actions against hurdles that stifle development of women and their participation in governance and development.
Zulum, who was represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Borno State, Hauwa Abubakar, said: “These hurdles undermine women’s ability to fully contribute to societal development which is exacerbated by poverty and lack of skills and formal education in our communities.
“We must strive hard to improve the situation of young women in Lagos and Nigeria by collaborating with well-meaning individuals, groups and organisations. We must, therefore, recognise community leadership and civic engagement skills as essential tools that will enable young women to participate in governance and development.
“There is the need for collective action by men, women and youths in addressing existing barriers. This can generate more innovative and effective outcomes.”
In her remarks, Lagos State First Lady and COWLSO Chairman, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said with the high-level participation of political and economic leaders and women from across the country as well as the quality of contributions during the interactive sessions at the conference, she was confident that the discussions would elevate the status of women to spring forth and stand out in all spheres of life in line with the theme.
She also urged the Federal Government to address Nigeria’s porous borders and other security challenges, just as she said women have a key role to play in tackling insecurity in the country.
“As women, it is time for us to lend our voice to the security issues in our country and not leave it only for the men to ensure that every one is security conscious. When you see something, say something and do something.
“From discussions at the Conference, we were told that we have over 261 borders, out of which 137 are porous. To the wives of security personnel attending this conference, it is time to put the word out there and pass across the message to our spouses to ensure that this country is safe; to ensure that poverty is eradicated. It is only when poverty is eradicated; it is only when there is security that people would want to come to Nigeria and invest.
“Every woman here is a stakeholder with regards to security. Our voice is what we have and we must use it constructively; to brainstorm, to speak out, and to stand out.”
She also urged women to embrace forward thinking mindset, saying: “Henceforth, our women in Nigeria must be forward thinking and unite to move forward.”
At the ceremony, a posthumous award was presented to the late South-West APC Women Leader, Chief Kemi Nelson. Other award recipients were the Wife of the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, and media personality, Funmi Iyanda.
Earlier at the Gala Night, several interesting prizes were won, while three lucky participants won the star prizes.
They were: Abiola Liadi, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Civil Service, who won a Turkish return ticket; Adebisi Ikusawe, a civil servant with the Lagos Island Local Government, who won a brand new GAC Sport Utility Vehicle; and a 74-year-old Alhaja Olushola Oyedele a.k.a Iya Luku Mushin, who won a two-bedroom apartment at LagosHoms, Sangotedo.