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CONTINUE TO ADD VALUE TO HUMANITY, AMBODE, OBASEKI URGES WOMEN

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his counterpart in Edo State, Mr Goodwin Obaseki on Tuesday lauded women for the roles they have been playing in societal development, saying they must continue to embrace unity of purpose and action to further add value to humanity.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the opening ceremony of 18th National Women Conference of Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, said though women have been working to complement their spouses, but nonetheless such cooperation and collaboration needed to be scaled up in the spirit of unity and oneness.

According to Governor Ambode, “COWLSO has worked ceaselessly to complement the efforts of their spouses on government. We are proud of your achievements particularly in the area of giving hope and succour to the less privileged through donations both in cash and in kind.

“The knowledge and good spiritedness exhibited in the last three editions of the conference are values that I cherish always.

“The theme for this year’s conference: ‘Strengthening Our Collective Impact,’ is very apt and a call for unity of purpose and action,” he said.

While expressing optimism that the three-day conference would be impactful as usual, the Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, said from the array of distinguished speakers listed, it was evident that the programme had been designed to add value to women and the society.

Besides, Governor Ambode congratulated his wife, Mrs Bolanle Ambode and indeed the entire COWLSO members for another successful outing, saying their roles were deeply appreciated.

“To her Excellency, Bola Ambode, you have continued to be a virtuous women, a wonderful sister and a wife any husband will be proud of. Thank you for being there at all times,” the Governor said.

In her opening remarks, Mrs Ambode who is the Chairman of COWLSO, said without being immodest, women all over the world were pillars of growth and development of their countries, as women had in many ways continued to play roles that demonstrated how important they were to the progress of their countries economically, politically, socially and in all other areas that mattered.

She said women in Nigeria were no different, and that COWLSO was happy that women in Lagos State were setting the pace, stressing that “our quest to continually improve the welfare of women and sustain the vintage position of Lagos State in the federation, are key objectives behind our coming together annually, to discuss the way forward.”

While emphasising the need for women to collaborate, the wife of the Governor said such was critical to engender significant and lasting social change that would beneficial to all.

She said: “When we come together and collaborate, either in government establishments, privately owned businesses, N.G.Os or wherever, we tend to achieve significant and lasting social change that would be beneficial to all.

“We have the unique ability of looking at problems and coming up with solutions, that would transform lives and make the world a better place.”

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (4th right); representative of Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, Deputy Governor, (2nd right); wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi (3rd right); Chairman, the 18th NWC Planning Committee, Dr. (Mrs) Arinola Oluwo (right); recipient of Inspirational Woman of the Year award, Mrs. Toyin Sokefun-Bello a.k.a TY Bello (4th left); wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (3rd left), her Ogun State counterpart, Mrs. Olufunso Amosu and SSA to Governor of Ondo State on Women Affairs and representative of the wife, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi (left) during the opening ceremony of the 18th National Women’s Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) with the theme: Strengthening Our Collective Impact, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos

She also urged women to learn to come together, support each other and discard unproductive habits, as there was advantage in numerical strength.

On activities of COWLSO in the last three years, Mrs Ambode said the association had executed many health-related projects, which had recorded impressive impact on the health of babies, children, youths, women and the aged ones, including the upgrade of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department of the Lagos Island General Hospital, Odan while also sponsoring goiter operation for some women two years ago and donating Portable Otoread OAEs equipment to four general hospitals – Badagry, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikorodu and Gbagada General Hospital last year.

Mrs Ambode further said last year, the committee donated an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Lagos Island Maternity, while this year, COWLSO donated portable Otoread OAEs equipment to Shomolu and Alimosho General Hospitals, as well as two Transport Incubator Ambulance, to Gbagada General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity Hospital.

“These facilities aptly described as ‘womb on wheels’, are to be deployed to convey preterm babies, also known as ‘premature babies’, to government facilities equipped with neo-natal ICU, to save their lives. The ‘Transport Incubator’ is fully equipped with life-support gadgets and other conveniences, making it a womb-like environment for the baby, to enhance its chances of survival while being evacuated to the ICU.

“Those special ambulance buses can also be used to convey infants with severe post birth complications, and others in serious emergency situations. The women of COWLSO reckon that with this intervention, many more newborns, infants and children in Lagos State, will be saved from avoidable deaths with attendant happiness to their parents,” she said.

While declaring the conference open, Governor Obaseki said the programme had helped in connecting the family with government, as wives of government officials had always ensured that they supported their husbands in the smooth running of government.

“This is a powerful network, it is powerful because it serves as opportunity for government to reach its people in another perspective of what is going on across the state,” he said, adding that it was only the family of government officials who would be able to point them in the right direction when they appeared to derail from the track.

Obaseki commended COWLSO for its intervention in the health sector through donations of health equipment to hospitals as well as making significant contributions for the health being of the less privileged in the society, adding that the committee served as inspiration to many states, as such ideas had been replicated in many states, while assuring that Edo State would soon replicate same for women in the State.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of the Inspirational Woman Award to Mrs Toyin Sokefun-Bello, popularly known as ‘T.Y. Bello’ for her outstanding work in photography and creative art.

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NEWS

Pondei-led NDDC IMC transparent, accountable, says Group

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As Nigerians await outcome of the 2-day investigative hearing carried out by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee last week Thursday and Friday on alleged financial recklessness by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a group has debunked the claim of N40 billion scam levelled against the Commission.

The group which projects itself as Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative (CQTI) said as a non- governmental organization, concerned with development of the Niger Delta region through close monitoring of activities of intervention bodies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) , the current Interim Management Committee ( IMC) of the commission is far more transparent in its operations, contrary to the accusation of squandering N40 billion.

President of the group, Obiaruko Christie Ndukwe,  at a media briefing in Abuja Saturday said the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led IMC is not corrupt as being painted by those  who, according to her, “want the operations of the commission to be business as usual.”

“The Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative under my leadership has been monitoring the operational activities of the NDDC over the years as regards the core mandate given to the commission.

“I make bold to declare here that of all the management teams we have interacted with so far and assessed their activities on the field, the current IMC stands out in terms of accessibility to the people and communities in the area as well as transparency in contracts awards and executions.

“All the hues and cries being made by some vested groups against the current IMC are driven by nothing but fear of being cut off from their yearly loot.

“Rather than trying to pull down the incumbent management of the commission, they should by now be running from pillar to post on how to escape from shame awaiting them from reports of the ongoing forensic auditing ordered by President Muhamnadu Buhari,” she said.

She added that it was a lie from the pit of hell for anybody to allege that the Pondei-led IMC is working for the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and not the people of Niger Delta region.

She said: “During the 2- day investigative hearing, none of the accusers and their cronies could substantiate any allegations to that effect.

“In fact, the public hearing exposed the hollow in all allegations levelled against Akpabio and the Pondei-led IMC and it is expected that they will allow peace to reign now in the commission for the desired development to start taking place in the Niger Delta region.”

 

Credit: Taiye Odewale

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COLUMNISTS

Lawyer raises alarm over N15 billion NDDC payments

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A legal practitioner, Mr. Godwin Ojeh, has lamented what he called corruption of self-enrichment in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Nigerian Senate , Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to stop the payment of N15 billion to contractors.

‘’The Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission has thrown caution to the winds. It is about to pay for jobs not done. The committee is processing the payment of a whooping amount of N15billion on spurious contracts in the name of ‘’Desilting of Waterways’’.

He particularly decried the misappropriation in the management of the funds of the commission.

‘Is the 2020 budget of the commission ready? Where are they spending from? ’Recently, the Senate set up an ad hoc committee to probe the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged mismanagement of N40billion. The Senate also requested for 2019 budgetary performance. The commission doesn’t have power to expend public money. There is no budgetary provision’’.

In a tone suggestive of his hatred for corruption, the Benin based lawyer asked the National Assembly and the executive arm of the government to stop the commission from wasting the country’s resources.

In a statement in Benin, Ojeh described the intention of the NDDC Interim Management Committee as ‘’a move that will endanger development of the region

‘’There is no greater danger to the development of the Niger Delta region than the payments for fictitious contracts’’ the statement said.

He also harped on the need for transparency in government organizations, saying ‘’it is necessary for the National Assembly and the executive arm of government to adopt a collective position on the allegation of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’’.

 

Credit: Ebireri Henry Ovie

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NEWS

HON. BURAIMOH: THE ELEGANT ORATOR…..Agunbiade

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So sudden was your death; so painful was your transition.

This is one death too many after we recently commited the prophetic Adebayo Oshinowo (Pepperito) to mother earth.
I never knew you were on your way out of this world when so unusually, my repeated messages to your phone were never responded to and calls not picked for days.

I did not know that the elegant Tunde was lying helpless somewhere against his wish.
Now, the ever bubbling and lively soul has been hooked by the angel of death and forced through the mill of no return while a lot of us, your admirers, were wondering of your whereabout.

Where is the very active and versatile brain of Tunde Buraimoh? Where is your very peaceful mien and stylish smiles of all times? The big Daddy with big, dramatic and oratory expressions has finally dropped the linguistic garb and that legislative lion has ceased to roar in the Lagos State House of Assembly.

We are going to miss your elegant dressing Tunde. Your charismatic assertions shall elude us till eternity. The beneficiaries of your regular philanthropic gestures will have to look elsewhere for succour hence forth. Dear Tunde, tread graciously to your final abode of no pains and no regrets. We shall hold forth for you where our paths have crossed with good memories.

Our prayers shall forever be for you in the lonely castle of your permanent rest.
I pray we would not have to give this kind of dirge so soon again. Tunde, sun re ooo. Adieu

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