Once again, the 2019 Arise Women Conference surpasses its success predictions with unprecedented record breaking attendance of women of all shades who graced the powerful gathering. The day as usual does not only witnessed high profile like First Lady of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, cluster of professionals, technocrats, icons of business, diplomatic corps, thousands of women regardless of status and personality were all inclusive in the historic event. Unarguably, the Arise Women Conference berthed 11years ago has indeed come to stay. Thanks to this great visionary and convener , a highbrow women’s rights activist and lawyer who has in her intellectual repertory Doctor of Laws, Dr [Mrs] Siju Iluyomade, This year’s edition held on Saturday, 26th of October 2019 across five different catalogs of venues owned by Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David [COD] including the Church’s main auditorium witnessed not less than 5,000 participants.
With free shuttle buses at strategic locations across the state, people trooped-in in thousands enveloping the whole church axis even as free medicals were simultaneously going on in specific areas as part of activities for the day.
As expected, the first lady of the country gave priority to the women initiative programme, she was ably represented by former First Lady of Nasarawa State, Hajia Mairo Almakura who led other First ladies of Lagos, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Ogun-State, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, Ekiti State, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, Kwara State, Olufolake Abdulrasaq, Akwa-Ibom State, Deaconess Martha Udom and their Edo State counterpart, Mrs Betty Obaseki to be part of the epoch-making event.
With a lined up of erudite speakers, including Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen, Chairman of First Bank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Reverend Funke Adetuberu, Former First Lady of Kwara State, Mrs Omolara-Omolewa Ahmed, the auditorium as well as other designated venues evolved in ecstasy and cheers with a chorus of what the quintessential woman, Dr Iluyomade championed, women empowerment.
Dr Iluyomade who was very effervescent on the day while declaring the Conference open called on all women to come together to improve villages across Nigeria. She said her organisation has done this by having as its model Dafara Adopt a village programme by building a hospital and provide qualitative health care delivery for the people in suburb of Abuja. In her word while encouraging women ” I Siju, I am my neighbor’s keeper, passion propelled my compassion. I ensure it transcends creed, tribe and religion”.
In her address, Dr Al-Makura, who read the speech of Mrs Buhari wife of the President commended the Siju Iluyomade-led Arise Women Initiative for empowering women, which according to her is in line with First Lady’s Future Assured Programme, to reach out to people at the grassroots level.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Tallen, while appealing to governors, especially the new governors, to encourage more women in governance by allocating more political positions to them at the state level, hailed the Convener Dr Iluyomade for her consistency in giving succor to many and championing the cause of women through Arise Women platform. Tallen, who was a former Plateau State deputy governor, also assured the women that as Minister for Women Affairs, she would continue to push for women interests across the country.
Wives of State Governors who came around all spoke and commended the Arise Women Initiative for supporting and empowering women through different philanthropic gestures.
One of the Speaker Rev. Adetuberu who was very vocal while addressing the gathering admonished women to always be confident in anywhere they found their selves while relishing some of her own experiences with God and human to encourage the audience.
Much before Mrs Awosika and Mrs Omolewa Ahmed spoke, the glamorous ambiance was enliven when talented award-winning singer Teni showed up unexpectedly to drive the audience and passer-by’s who watched from the big screen mounted outside the church into frenzy, as she sings some of her tracks currently making waves within and outsides the country.
The Chairperson of Committee Of Wives of Lagos State Government Officials [COWLSO], Mrs Sanwo-Olu also seized the opportunity to officially presented Dr Iluyomade her award which she won at the just concluded 2019 COWLSO Conference as ” Woman of The Year in Recognition to Humanity”
Different items of gift were given to all the almost five thousand people that graced the occasion