The Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) on Thursday urged the Federal Government and governments across the states to prioritise issue of maternal mortality, which it described as “national emergency”.
The Committee said the high maternal mortality would not augur well for the nation, urging all stakeholders, especially the Governments to initiate actions that would address the problem, with the aim to stem the growth.
The Committee, in a communique issued at the end of its 19th National Women Conference held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos called on government at all levels to empower women, saying there was strong need for women to maximise their capacity.
The communique reads: “Maternal mortality is abysmally high in Nigeria and we regard the death of a woman in preventable circumstances as unacceptable. The issue of maternal mortality has been taken for granted in Nigeria when it is supposed to be seen as a national emergency.
“An empowered and educated woman would raise responsible children. As a nation we need to invest effectively in maximizing the capacity of women.
“All stakeholders – families, schools, religious bodies, communities and government, must unite to address this scourge. Women need to be protected against artificial conditions that can shorten their lives. They need to be empowered to be able to nurture children to be upright, hardworking, result oriented, focused, organised and Godly.”
The Committee urged women to take advantage of opportunities in entrepreneurship to improve their lives, while also urging them to join hands with the Lagos State Government in the effort to engender value re-orientation in combating disobedience to road regulations and traffic laws.
The communique reads further: “Government at all levels must continue to partner with the private sector to develop and implement strategies that will showcase the nation’s potential in entertainment and tourism to the world.
“Every society must seek to evolve its own legal instrument through the culture of voluntary compliance to the laws of waste and traffic management.
“Also, well-being is a satisfactory condition of existence and Wellness is more than being free from illness but a dynamic process of change and growth,” the Committee said, while equally urging women to strive to be a total woman, adding: “A total woman is a profitable daughter, an extra ordinary woman, a celebrated mother and award-winning woman.”
COWLSO convener and First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said she was gratified that the conference made positive impacts on the attendees, urging the participants to make good use of the lessons learnt.
“It has been three days of mind shifting trainings and brainstorming on how to equip women and position them to key into the emerging opportunities in our dear State. Several papers have been presented on the main theme which centers on unlearning, learning and relearning, as well as other topics.
“I can confidently say that we have all benefited tremendously from the facilitators who have mounted this stage to address us. For me, the target is that we must all go back to our respective offices, homes and business areas to put what we have learned into practice,” she said.
Closing the session, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended the COWLSO members for the event, admonishing women to be the ambassadors of his administration.
The Governor was represented at the closing ceremony by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji.
On his part, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule congratulated COWLSO for the success of the conference, urging women to ensure that the knowledge and skills acquired at the conference are put to good use.
Various prizes including two houses, cars, return tickets to London, Dubai and Ghana, cash rewards, deep freezers, cooking gas, television, washing machines, exquisite beds, among others, were won by some of the participants at the conference, while A-list artist including Tope Alabi, Teni the Entertainer and others, performed at the Gala Night of the Conference.
Awards were also presented to deserving women including Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Pastor Nike Adeyemi; Wife of Deputy General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor (Mrs) Siju Iluyomade; and President of Elishama Ideh Ministry and former Presidential aspirant, Elishama Ideh, among others.