Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 26 October 2016 | 3,928 times
Wife of Anambra State Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano has challenged the Anambra State Women Association Lagos (ASWAL) to join in championing the "Think Home" agenda of the Obiano administration by contributing to the socio-economic and political development of the state.
She made the call weekend while speaking at the ASWAL Silver Jubilee Lectures and Awards held at the Colonades Hotels Ikoyi, Lagos, where she charged the women to be in the vanguard of the renewed quest to develop the state and make it one of the most prosperous in the country by attracting investments.
Mrs. Obiano reminded the women that they are achievers in their own right alongside their husbands but that they should note the task of driving the development of Anambra State by bringing investments and their wealth of experience back home now that the governor has created the much needed security and environment for businesses to thrive.
She noted that many people are already responding to the clarion call of taking the state to a greater height adding that the investors are already beginning to reap the benefits even as she said that more hands are needed on deck.
The First Lady urged ASWAL to brace up as they celebrate 25 years and be counted in the scheme of things especially in the application of their inputs and talents to the development and growth of Anambra, saying that the men have led the way.
She said, “The time is right for you now to stand up and be counted. We should not feel inhibited by our gender because increasingly, it is becoming clear that intelligence and talent rather than status will determine the choice of leaders in the years ahead.”
She further cited the encouragement she has received as the wife of the Governor, which has ultimately made it possible for her to expand the scope of her involvement in charity work since 1991 to the formation of an NGO, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) – a non-profit service organisation which acts as a beacon for the empowerment of women, indigent widows and the less privileged.
Mrs. Obiano highlighted the achievements of CAFÉ, which thrives on the goal of improving the living conditions of the helpless and communities to include; the building and hand-over of nine standard 2-Bed room houses in Agulu, Alor, Amichi, Amorka, Enugwu-otu Aguleri, Ogbunike, Nri, Umunya and Awba-Ofemili.
Mrs. Obiano added that CAFÉ have also completed building of toilets in some markets like Eke Igwe Nteje, Afor Mbaukwu and Afor-Igwe, Umudioka while water projects are currently spread across 19 communities including special institutions.
She emphasised that her NGO receives no funding or government support, but that the projects were made possible by the grace of God, the encouragement of her husband who donated his salary and other donors.
Furthermore, the wife of the governor advocated constructive criticism as panacea for sustainable development and good guide for leaders in positions of authority rather than divisive rhetoric which tends to divert attention from the object and programmes that will make positive impact in the lives of the people.
Presenting a paper titled “Property Rights of Women, Nigerian Perspective” Speaker of Anambra State, House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, identified cultural inequalities and gender barriers to property rights drawing comparisons in Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa customs. She cited extant laws to buttress her argument for equal opportunities, and noted that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has abolished most of the discriminations against women, thereby allowing them to own properties in the country.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion, former Commissioner for Local Government in Anambra State, Chief Dubem Obaze said that everyone’s prayer is for the state to continue to progress.
He advised ASWAL to properly define their vision and mission in the next 25 years so as to be well guided in their march to greater heights.
Obaze also harped on the need for the women to teach their children Igbo language in order to help preserve our heritage and above all think home.
Responding, the President of ASWAL, Dr. Mrs. Nkeiru Ifekwem, appealed to Anambra men to allow women to develop their talents and pursue their passion so that they can contribute towards the development of the state.
She cited building of skills acquisition center in Awka as one of the outlined programmes of the association.
•Photo shows Ebelechukwu Obiano.
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