By Patrick Okohue
Nigerians have been challenged to cultivate a positive mindset about the country and change their attitude and way of doing things so that the country can move forward and others outside the country can also see the country from a positive light.
Giving the advise at the Women in Leadership Series 2019, organised by the HandMaidens, a non-governmental Organisation at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, wife of the Edo State governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, said Nigeria as a nation was destined for greatness, but that the people must do their part and rise up to do their best in their little corner.
According to Mrs Obaseki, who was a Special Guest of Honour at the event, the event which was put together to celebrate women achievers in the areas of business and building legacies was very important so that it will be an avenue to encourage the younger generation to emulate them, “because that is what we as a nation needs today.”
She reasoned that to build a nation that the people desires, “Nigerians must begin to change the way we live our lives for good, be a people of truth, a people of character, a people desirous of having positive change,” she said.
Also speaking, wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun spoke about how she combined raising five children with growing her business in the ouil sector, advising the women focks never to be afraid to go into men dominated businesses if that is where their passion is.
“AS women, don’t quit, hold on tenaciously to what you believe in, do your things well, don’t be greedy, do things from your heart and you will inspire people,” she said.
In her speech, with the theme ‘Leading Women Building Legacies’, wife of the Lagos State governor, Dr (Mrs) Joke Sanwo-Olu noted that the role of women in nation building cannot be over emphasized, as studies have shown that women play a pivotal role in shaping society.
While advising the women folks, especially the younger generation to take opportunity of the event towards making better judgements, Mrs Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos State government under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has set in place programs that will make a difference in the lives of the women.
The convener of the event and Host, Dr. Siju Iluyomade said that the theme was chosen because “we want to set new goals and change the status of women in Nigeria, helping them to make a difference where they are.
“It is time women rise up to make decision to change their lives, you must be ready to leave a legacy in whatever you do, be focus and concentrate. As women you must be you, don’t try to be another person,” she said.
In her keynote address, a United States based Professor of medicine and holder of the National honours, Officer of the Order of the Niger, Prof Olufunmilayo Olopade, an expert in the treatment of cancer among black women, challenged the Nigerian women and men to rise up to challenge the government to provide grants for medical research, so that many ailments plaguing the people without solution can be dealt a final blow.
According to her, “our population is aging, our population is going to have needs to have medicine and unless we all mobilise, I am talking about men and women, because this is women’s conference, but the men needs to get up and match on the government.
“This is how we started making the progress that we made on breast cancer in America, we matched and our government funded research, then as more and more survivors started marching, they kept moving us forward.
“The American government has sponsored all of my research in Nigeria and I am saying now that we need to mobilise as Nigerians, we need to have access to medicine and we need to support the doctors who are here wanting to help women.
“On the other side, as patients you know you have a right, there is a patient bill of right in Nigeria, which means your doctor should not take a lump from you without knowing what it is,” she said.