Foundation seeks increased political slots for women, others

Foundation seeks increased political slots for women, others

By Grace Alegba

Touch of Love and Lifting Hands Foundation, an NGO for welfare of widows, elderly and less privileged, has appealled for increased slots for women in politics.

Dr Atinuke Agbaje-Owolabi, CEO/founder of the foundation, made the call at the grand finale of the NGO’s weeklong 4th Humanitarian Week in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area (LGA), Lagos.

The event themed, “Good Governance with Equity for All Ages: The Role of NGOs, Elected Representatives and Government” began on Saturday, Dec.18 with free health checks/talks and a thanksgiving service on Sunday.

It had a fitness walk and games on Monday, skill acquisition on Tuesday for benefitiaries in soap making, baking and catering and climaxed with end of year party with gifts distributed on Wednesday.

Agbaje-Owolabi also said the welfare of vulnerable people should be prioritised.

She said the foundation trained, gave medical care and distributed food items to over 1,000 beneficiaries.

She said governance and equity were democratic values of fairness and justice at all times, which leaders must uphold.

Agbaje-Owolabi urged leaders to evolve inclusive policies to give equal opportunities to women, youths, less privileged and all other members of the society without discrimination.

“Most times, women are often excluded from consultation and decision making and have limited opportunities to influence the institutions and policies that determine their lives,” she said.

According to her investing and promoting the rights of girls, youths and women towards equal participation in politics is a necessary step to achieving equitable governance.

L-R: Publisher Buzz News, Mrs Funmi Olowosegun; Dr Atinuke Agbaje-Owolabi, CEO/founder Touch of Love and Lifting Hands Foundation; Prince Gbolahan Ogundimu, Traditional ruler elect of Iju Ogundimu and Chairman, All Progressive Congress, Ifako-ijaiye LGA, Deacon Banjo Omole during the grand finale of the foundation’s weeklong 4th Humanitarian Week on Wednesday in Lagos

“We appeal to the government to ensure that the voice of the less privileged is heard and their rights must be given to them.

“Policy makers should create policies that accommodate and promote equity in governance to enable the voice of each age group be heard and be represented,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Agbaje-Owolabi, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, was also an aspirant  on the platform of APC for Ifako-Ijaiye LGA chairmanship seat in the last council polls.

However, she withdrew from the contest over party supremacy.

She appealled to all tiers of government to collaborate with Touch of Love and Lifting Hands Foundation, which already had a data base of widows, widowers, elderly and other vulnerable members in Lagos.

She said they were the most hit by the economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAN reports that Agbaje-Owolabi during the programme received the Buzz News Humanitarian NGO Award for 2021.

She thanked the management of Buzz News for counting Touch of Love and Lifting Hands Foundation worthy of the award.

The Chairman, APC, Ifako-ijaiye LGA, Deacon Banjo Omole,

commended the foundation for carrying out welfare initiatives in the community.

An octagenarian, Mrs Bosede Ogundimu who benefited from the soap making and catering training said the new skill would help her work from home and stop her fresh pepper trade, which was too tasking for her age.

Also, a 72-year old widow, Mrs Taiwo Gbadamosi, and others thanked them for the empowerment, recreational and welfare initiatives. (NAN)

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