Educationist urges Muslim women to participate in politics





An educationist, Hajia Rakiya Gambo Ilyasu, has called on Nigerian Muslim women to participate in politics in order to bring in the much-needed impetus to fight corruption, engender inclusiveness as well as accelerate the development of the county.

Hajia Ilyasu made the call as the lead speaker of the maiden edition of the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society’s women forum in Lokoja Kogi state discussing the theme ‘The Role of Women In Eradicating Corruption’.

She said women should step out of stereotypes as ‘there are no stereotypes for women in Islam…we have examples of wives of the prophet Muhammed SAW and the daughter of Usman Bin Fodio are good examples’.

‘Muslim women are expected to play vital roles in changing and transforming the society into one which is safer and free from corruption. Islam offers Muslim women great opportunities to extend their fields of activities as role models, they are placed alongside men in reforming the society morally, socially, politically, and religiously’, she said.

Girl-Child Education
Quoting from the Quran and many other sayings of the Prophet of Islam she asked Muslim women to improve on current statistics of girl-child education by enrolling their girl children in schools.

According to her ‘female children should be given great opportunities to reach their utmost in educational pursuit…as future mothers and leaders of tomorrow, the sky should not be their limit but the beginning.’

Also speaking at the event, the Kogi State Director General of Land and housing services Hajia Maryam Ladi Ibrahim blamed the rising ills in the society on women who have abandoned their roles in providing tutelage and direction to their children.

‘Women must return to providing care for their children and not leave the children to the wider society. A child learns better from emulating parents and care givers that means we must be exemplary in our conduct so that we give children the values that will improve our society’, she said.

The National Chief Imam of the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society Fuad Adeyemi had in his opening remark said ‘women have a pivotal role not only in promoting peace and justice, but also in rolling back the increasing rate of corruption in the society’.

The discussion on ‘The role of women in eradicating corruption’ held in Lokoja the capital of Kogi state in North central Nigeria is in furtherance of its project ‘Encouraging Accountability and Transparency through Faith based Institutions’, a project supported by the MAcArthrur Foundation being implemented in Kogi, Niger, Kaduna, Osun, Lagos, Kebbi States and FCT.

Mrs Osinbajo calls for support to boost girl-child education



Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the Vice President, has urged groups, organisations and individuals to support more indigent girls and women to access quality education and empowerment.

Osinbajo made the call as a special guest at the Gala Night/Fund Raising Dinner of the Diamond Lights Women Empowerment Initiative (DLWEI) in Lagos.

She said that people, by educating girls and empowering women, would be investing in the future of the country.

”There are lots of women out there, our sisters, mothers, wives and daughters.

“Some are educated, but they are helpless and powerless, while some are capable but they are ill-equipped. They stand at a crossroads.

”Diamond Lights is at a crossroads because they have chosen to lend a helping hand.

“They have chosen to help them to grow into greatness, knowing that if we know better, we will do better,” she said.

Osinbajo said that a little girl, given a helping hand, would be able to attain great heights like many notable women have done in the nation’s history.

I’m so proud to be a Nigerian. Nigerians are generous and such large-hearted people.

“There is hardly a family or an establishment that is not helping someone or the other.

”I have seen the work that this initiative has done. I implore us and encourage us to hold up our hands by providing financial support and lend a hand, so that we can ensure that every woman in Nigeria is taken care of and educated,” she said.

In her address, Pastor Adefunke Kasali, the Founder on the DLWEI, said the initiative was born with a burden to reach out to women and girls.

She said that it was aimed at ensuring that women and girls fulfill their God-given purpose on earth.

Kasali said that DLWEI  was planning to take the initiative to the North-Central and North-East, to help displaced women and girls.

”The rate of educating girls in the West and in the East is fair at 85 per cent while in the North it is below 24 per cent, and this is why the rate of poverty in the north is alarming.

”In the last 12 years, we have educated and empowered 150 girls and women in the West.

“We plan to do the same in the North to see what bit of a difference we can make.

”We are calling on well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to partner and support our initiative to help us reach out, educate and empower more women and girls and take them out of poverty.

”All proceeds from this fund raising will go to the initiative’s scholarship fund.

“With little support, we can make a lot of difference in the lives of those who cannot help themselves, ” Kasali said.

Some of the beneficiaries said the initiative did not only sponsor their education, but also gave them moral support.

Miss Esther Akinbinu, who graduated as an accountant from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said she went through the university without worrying about her tuition and other expenses as Diamond Lights saw her through it all.

Dr Adebanke Adenola, who graduated from UNILAG as the best medical student in 2013, said she lost her father three days after she was admitted into the university.

”I could not pay my school fees because I had financial challenges as a result of my father’s death.

“I reluctantly applied for this scholarship because I did not have any other choice.

”This initiative turned out to be wonderful and helped me achieve my dreams in life. They gave me hope when I was hopeless, ”she said.

Diamond Light Women Empowerment Initiative is a non-governmental organisation with focus on education of girls from indigent homes.

It has supported over 150 young women through their university education since 2006.

Ali-Baba, wife launch foundation to support girl-child education

                                                                                         Ali-Baba and wife, Mary


Mrs Mary Akpobome, Founder, Purple Girls Foundation, said that the foundation was established to provide solution to an issue of great concern that had been at the front burner of social, economic and political dialogue; education, especially that of the girl-child. “It is to let us know that what God placed in our hands is not just for our immediate family, but the society in general.

The comedian, Ali-Baba and his wife, Mary Akpobome, on Wednesday launched the Purple Girls Foundation, to support girl-child education in the country. The launch and fund-raising for the foundation was done to celebrate the 50th Birthday of Mrs Mary Akpobome, in Lagos.

“The Purple Girl Foundation has now become one of the available interventions where we can collectively express our humanity by being our sister’ keepers and in our way, leave impactful footprints in the sands of time.

“Our vision is to be the leading platform supporting and advocating access to education and leadership development for the girl-child in Nigeria,” she said. Akpobome said that the foundation would support underserved young girls in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, with tuition, education support and health insurance.

According to her, the support will also instill in them leadership and peer learning opportunities that will give them better prospects for their future. She noted that educating the girl-child goes beyond advocating for gender equality and female rights; education for the girl-child results in positive transformation and development at family, community and national levels.

“Every child deserves to go to school. 60 per cent of the total out-of-school children in Nigeria are girls; which means 5.5 million girls are out of school and it is the highest rate worldwide. “If all women had a primary education, maternal deaths would reduce by two-thirds, and 98, 000 lives will be saved,” she said.

Akpobome said that the foundation’s intervention was critical at a time the country needed to re-adjust its socio-cultural, political and economic system. Earlier, Dr Idiat Adebule, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, said that government would continue to develop policies and programmes that would support girl-child education, protect them from sexual abuse and instill confidence in them.

Adebule represented by Mrs Yetunde Odejaiye, Permanent-Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, said that it was unacceptable that many girls had to drop out of school due to lack of funds and support. She commended the foundation for its efforts to complement government’s work in promoting girl-child education not only in Lagos but across the country.

Mrs Toyin Saraki, President, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, said that educating a girl-child would release their potentials, contribute to society’s transformation and uplift many families from poverty. Saraki represented by Mrs Ini Oyekunle, Chief Executive Officer, Wellbeing Foundation, said that addressing the education of girls should be seen as addressing issues of quality, safety and wellbeing of the girls.

Mr Mohammed Ahmed, Director, Schools Education and Society, British Council, Nigeria, said it was a human right for girls to be in school, and government should provide more inclusive education system. He said that the country should make concerted efforts to reduce the rate of out of school children as the country’s population increased.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the foundation was established by Mary and Alibaba Akpobome, to enhance the education of the girl-child from none privileged backgrounds, who struggle amidst various disadvantages. The foundation will in the first three years support indigent female children in three pilot states and later increase its spread across the country.