……Stella Okoli, Mrs. Pricilla Ekwueme-Eleje, Sen. Binta Garba, Prof. Adenike Osofisan, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Barr. Oby Nwankwo, Mma Regina Achi Nentui, Hajiya Bilikisu Yusuf, Mrs. Adebimpe Balogun are also inducted
By Kemi Yesufu
It is likely to go down as the most glamorous event held at the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) in the last decade. It is today’s induction ceremony for female icons into the highly prestigious Nigerian Women Hall of Fame.
The Nigerian Women Hall of Fame is one the institutions at the NCWD.
Wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the star-studded event, held at the Main Auditorium of the NCWD was joined by Governor Babajide Sanwa-Olu of Lagos State, his wife Ibijoke and a long list of other dignitaries to celebrate the new inductees.
Director-General of the NCWD, Mary Ekpere-Eta Esq, led the management of the Centre, who received plaudits for organizing the high octane ceremony to honour deserving Nigerian female trailblazers.
The physician who gave her life to halt the spread of the Ebola Virus, Dr. Stella Adadevoh, martyr for democracy Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, First Female Editor of a national daily, the Late Hajiya Bilikisu Yusuf, and the First ever Female LG chairperson, Mma Regina Achi Nentui were inducted today.
First woman to win elections three consecutive times into the Senate and former Lagos First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, successful industrialist and founder of Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Stella Okoli, First Woman to sign the Nigerian currency, Mrs. Pricilla Ekwueme-Eleje, First Woman to win election into the National Assembly from two different states (Kaduna and Adamawa) Sen. Binta Garba, First Woman to obtain a PhD in Computer Science, Prof. Adenike Osofisan and First Female President of NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson and iconic gender equality icon and former minister Iyom Josephine Anenih were also inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Buhari who spoke through her representative to the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Hajo Sani, hailed the new inductees as role models. According to her, the inductees have and will still inspire many girls and women to do great exploits. She urged that women join the Buhari Administration in promoting transparency and accountability in the public and private sector.
She commended the NCWD for conducting a thorough research through which inductees were selected.
Permanent-Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Nkiruka Anagbogu, stated her support for the NCWD performing its mandate by promoting successful women as models for excellence.
Earlier in her welcome address, chairperson of the NCWD board, Yimebe Joi Nunieh stressed the commitment of the Centre to remain the beckon of hope for women.
Ekpere-Eta in her welcome address reiterated her pledge, that the induction ceremony will be held at timely intervals to adequately present the achievements women and their contribution to national development. She expressed confidence that a large number of girls and young women will be encouraged to strive for the very best with the recognition of the new inductees.
The event also witnessed goodwill messages from dignitaries such as the Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was represented at the ceremony. Chairperson of the Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri sang for and commended the inductees. Women Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Hajiya Salamatu Umar-Eluma described the new set of inductees as heroines whose labour has been rewarded.
The goodwill messages were quickly followed by the presentation of commemorative plaques to the inductees. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Dr. Hajo Sani, Hon. Abike Dabiri and Federal Ministry of Women Affairs Permanent-Secretary Mrs. Nkiruka Anagbogu at different times joined the NCWD Director-General to present the glittering plaques to the happy inductees.
Posthumous honors were received by family members. Kudirat Abiola’s plaque was presented to her daughter, Hafsat Abiola-Castell, with Dr. Stella Adadevoh’s niece, Niniola Williams representing her. For the Late Bilikisu Yusuf, two of her children were on hand to pick her plaque, same for Barr. Oby Nwankwo, whose son and brother picked up her plaque. For Mma Regina Achi-Nentui, Mrs. Amaka Ndoma Egba, was her representative.
Some of the dignitaries at today’s ceremony include, Senator Solomon Olamilekan (Yayi), Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, wife of Osun State Governor, Kafayat Oyetola, wife of former governor of Osun State, Alhaja Sherrifat Aregbesola and Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.