Wife of the Nigerian president, Aisha Buhari and South West governors, including Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, his counterparts in Oyo and Osun states, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Mr Rauf Aregbesola have stressed the importance of women to nation building, saying they are the bedrock of any family which in turn makes a nation.
The prominent Nigerians said this on Monday in their separate speeches delivered at the 16th edition of the National Women Conference organised by Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), with the theme: “Strong family, Strong Nation,” held in Lagos.
This was just as they all emphasised the need to accord women more recognition in the country to fast track its development and transformation.
Speaking at the event, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the wife of Imo State governor, Nneoma Okorocha, while stressing the importance of women to nation building, said family values were important and should be cherished and nurtured.
“Family values are important and should be cherished and nurtured. Love, support, friendship and guidance are key qualities necessary to form the family bond.
“We must continue to emphasize the importance of strong family values. Poverty, crime, declining school performance, are some of the challenges a country could face when families are not cohesive,” she said.
Lagos State governor, Mr. Ambode, his counterparts in Oyo and Osun states, Senator Ajimobi and Ogbeni Aregbesola, in their various addresses, noted that if the nation must make meaningful progress, the family, which is the mirror by which any society is measured, must be strengthened.
According to them, as much as the family is the reflection of the society, government at all levels must give priorities to issues as they affect the women, pointing out that women who are the bedrock of the family, must also be empowered to flourish in their career and the home front.
Ambode, in his goodwill message, said while the importance of the family unit to the overall development of the nation was not in doubt, much emphasis must be placed in the commitment towards strengthening the family unit and building strong moral values.
“The importance of the family unit to the overall development of any nation is not in doubt. The family is the foundation and smallest unit of any nation. The heart and conscience of a nation is formed, to a large extent, in the family.
“However, the issue is the amount of commitment we, in our individual capacities and as a nation, have shown towards strengthening the family unit.
“With strong families, we can build a strong nation. But strong families will only exist in a society where nobody is left behind, where everybody has a voice and a stake. This is one of the toughest challenges facing governments – ‘to build an all-inclusive society,'” the governor said.
Governor Ambode said his administration recognized the critical need for societal inclusion and thus had initiated policies aimed at guaranteeing equal opportunities and participation for all Lagosians.
He said that his administration remained totally committed to empowering women as well as protecting the girl-child against all forms of negative vices, while creating viable platforms for families to bond and recreate.
“Women are the glue that holds families together and we believe strongly that an empowered woman, with a sense of self-esteem, will be better positioned to make a success of her career and at the same time be a pillar of strength for the family,” the governor said.
He said the decision of his administration to resuscitate the famous Apapa Amusement Park while speeding up work on Ipakodo Park in Ikorodu, Badagry Recreational Park and Ajako/Alimosho Park was beyond boosting the tourism potential of the state, but to serve as meeting points for families to relax and have fun together.
Also speaking, Governor Ajimobi said the family as the building block of the nation must be given top priority.
According to him, women who holds the chord that binds the family together, must be empowered to thrive both in their career and the home front.
According to Aregbesola, if the family must be strengthened, the women who are saddled with the responsibility of building the home front must be encouraged and celebrated.