L-R: Chairman of the occasion, Chief Philip Asiodu with Gen Ibrahim Babangida during the unveiling of the centre
In appreciation for all her contributions towards women development, the Asaba Development Union (ADU) women’s wing in Lagos at its fundraising and cultural day held last week at the Lagoon restaurant, Ozumba Nbadiwe, Victoria Island, dedicated an ongoing Civic Centre building project to late Maryam Babangida.
The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Barrister Ogeah Chike, who represented Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, said the governor was in total support of the project being dedicated to the former First Lady.
The commissioner who described the Civic Centre at Amuwo-Odofin as wonderful idea, said “the distinguishing feature is dedicating the centre to our own darling sister, daughter and mother, Mrs. Maryam Babangida. That is why the ex-president, Ibrahim Babangida is here today.
“Obviously, they want to institutionalise Lagos first then come back home to do it. Wherever they do it, they still will come to Asaba where they belong,” he emphasised.
The president of the union, Mrs. Nkechi Chizea, said that it was because of the wife, Maryam, that General Babangida brought the Delta State capital to Asaba.
“There is this empowerment programme for woman she brought and the Better Life for Rural Women. She did much and we are very grateful to her. In fact, she has become a role model to many,” she explained.
With all the activities that took place such as dancing, singing and fashion parading on the various cultural attires, Chizea said it was part of the riches of Asaba.
She also disclosed that a former president of the union, Mrs. Nwokolo, started the project ten years ago. “She sourced a piece of land to build a multi-purpose social centre in Amuwo-Odofin, a central location with ease of access for all our women, who lived in and around Lagos.”
The chairman of the occasion Chief Philip Asiodu, said “The building project is yet to be completed. I acknowledged the efforts of the former president, Mrs. P.E. Chukwura. It is my intention to lead the completion and begin full use of the building, which will not only serve as a meeting place but also be hired for functions as a means of earning funds needed for our development programmes.
“As this development grows and the ideas take shape, it was unanimously agreed that we name the building after a female role model, whose achievements would be an inspiration to others. And it was Maryam that we chose,” he said.
Continuing he said, “It is clear to us that no other daughter of Asaba deserves this honour more than our dear excellent sister, the late Mrs. Maryam Babangida. In her lifetime, she spent considerable time and effort thinking about the betterment of women. Her flagship project, ‘The Better Life for Rural Women’ revealed where her heart was especially in the economic and social empowerment of women in small businesses and cottage industries,” Philip noted.
The ADU women’s wing is made up of women, daughters and wives of Asaba living in Lagos. As mothers, wives, women in the professions and in business, it is their conviction that gathering regularly to meet and discuss issues concerning the development of people is a progressive way to ensuring that they join hands together as a group to accomplish development objectives that would have been difficult for one person alone.
The aim of the union is to promote, sustain and protect the culture, customs, history and traditions of the Asaba people.