The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday acknowledged the resilient nature of women and their strategic roles in national development, saying that it was important for concerted efforts to be made, to protect them against abuse and anything that can inhibit their progress.
Speaking at the 2017 National Women Summit of Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA) held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Governor Ambode said women are endowed with God-given abilities to get stronger no matter the circumstances and equally make positive difference in the lives of others even at their detriment.
The Governor, who attended the event with his wife, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said the way to appreciate women, is to make efforts to create space for them and fight for their rights.
In the Governor’s own word “The least we can do to appreciate our women and reciprocate their resilience and sacrifice is to give them all the support they require to achieve their dreams.
“As a Governor, I am strongly committed and determined to create the space for our women and protect them against abuse and everything that will inhibit their progress.
“This is my commitment and I believe, it is the same for my other colleagues, including my brother, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State whose support for his darling wife has made this event a reality.”
While describing the theme of the summit which is “The Resilient Woman: Making a Difference,” as apt, Governor Ambode said it confirmed the hidden strengths of women which keep them going even in the face of most difficult challenges.
He added: “It is this resilience that has made the woman the warmth and bond that keeps the family together.This is very graphically expressed in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt who said “a woman is like a tea bag – you cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water”. Our women have shown that they are not only strong but resilient, hardworking, gentle, loving and beautiful.
“Over the years, the indispensability of women in governance has continued to be appreciated and recognized particularly in this part of the world. In Lagos, whenever I have the opportunity I always say this; if you want a job done well, give it to a woman. Women make the difference.”
Furthermore, Governor Ambode admonished women to positively deploy their skill set in any given position for the betterment of the country.
In their lectures, former Vice President of Zimbabwe, Dr Joice Musuru and the former First Lady of Liberia, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, who were the keynote speakers, said African women must be inspired to do more even when the challenge appears insurmountable and also have the desire to make positive transformations.
They also advised women to be real, create their own stories, never give up and mentor the next generation of women leaders.
In their goodwill messages, Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and the host Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) all underscored the importance of women to nation building, saying any society or organization that position women other than the frontline role is destined for failure.
They also called on women to revive the tradition of productivity and responsibility to the country in their children, saying such would bring about a better society, better nation and better people.