PRESIDENT, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin and the chairman, Advisory Council of the HID Awolowo, Senator Daisy Danjuma, have berated the loss of family value system in the country.
The duo spoke at the unveiling of the HID Awolowo Foundation and the inauguration of its advisory council on Monday, in commemoration of the first year remembrance of the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo, who joined the triumphant saints on September 19, 2015, at 99.
Odumakin, a human rights activist, who delivered a lecture entitled: “The Nigerian woman in the footprints of HID,” noted that there was dearth of a new generation of HIDs in the society due to survival instinct, as a result of economic factors.
She explained that the issue of an ideal family had been lost as a result of social limitations and shrinking space for women expression.
Odumakin said that present generation of women must learn from Mama Awolowo’s qualities, such as being a pillar of support, an ideal, consistent, industrious and highly respectful woman, all of which made her husband to refer to her as his “jewel of inestimable value.”
She noted that the Awolowo family was a typical example of a model family this generation must emulate.
The president of Women Arise said “If we want a prototype of standard family life, a family with great value, we would be so wasteful to be looking far for an example. Here is just for us, the great family, Awolowo!
“This generation, therefore, needs to learn and copy this model family, Awolowo. There is a dearth today, however, of this model of Awolowo family. We have been inundated, instead, of stories of domestic violence and resulting future dangers for innocent children in the family.
“The dearth of a new generation of HIDs is due largely to economic factors, shrinking space for women expression and social limitations.
“While a proportion of females are wandering for survival due to economic hardships, others are facing various forms of gender abuses and domestic violence today. The family idea is under serious assault.”
Senator Danjuma, in her acceptance speech as the chairman of the advisory council, commended the effort of the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation for establishing the HID Awolowo Foundation, to imbue in women the qualities of leadership and doggedness demonstrated by the matriarch and to advocate the empowerment of women in all spheres of life.
She submitted that the foundation would mentor the younger generation of girls to become responsible women in the country.
Executive Secretary of the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, in her welcome address , said the main purpose of institutionalising a foundation in Mama’s memory was a result of the remarkable life she lived.
Awolowo Dosumu described her mother as a strong, smart and kind woman, whose dedication and loyalty to her spouse and family was unquantifiable.
“Since today is about Papa honouring Mama through his legacy institution , so to say, we will restrict ourselves to talking about her. Her loyalty and dedication to spouse and family, even and especially in the face of severe trials; her perseverance in the struggle for the supremacy of truth and social justice; her extraordinary industry and entrepreneurship and her indomitable spirit in the face of formidable odds. She was strong, she was smart and she was kind.
“These are attributes that should be acclaimed and celebrated even more now than ever before, even if evidences all round us appear to suggest that it is no longer enough to possess such noble qualities. We must, nonetheless, keep hope alive.
“The HID Awolowo Foundation is, therefore, poised for advocacy and, if necessary, intervention on issues that inspire women, promote values and build the nation. Our focus will be to underline the careers of role models like Yeye Oodua HID Awolowo in a bid to reset the values of younger Nigerians, who already, I fear, appear to be morally adrift,” she added.