The Chairperson of the Women Wing of the Lagos Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Onojobi has said the wing is strategic to the emancipation of women in the state while also calling on relevant bodies to render support to it.
Onojobi made the observation while delivering an address at a recent four-day residential conference of the women wing in Lagos.
At the conference held at LAWNA Territory, Ketu Lagos, Onojobi said the women wing was created to foster a spirit of understanding among Christian women and also to promote peace in the country through the propagation of the gospel.
She said the wing has also been an instrument of social engineering and empowerment of women over the years. “During Covid-19, WOWICAN served as a platform to reach out to vulnerable women by paying some allowance to their accounts. Our local Chapters went out to sensitize the public and also gave out food items to many people,” she said.
Onojobi also noted that at the national level, “The National WOWICAN Chairperson Mrs. Bola Ihesiulor connected with Carter Foundation. The foundation stretched their hands to support some of our needy widows.”
She recalled also that WOWICAN celebrated International Women Day all over the States of Nigeria on March 8. “During the celebration women between ages 50 and 53 were given free Cervical Cancer tests by a Foundation. WOWICAN also visited the Home of the Elderly in Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Mushin, Lagos with series of foodstuff and toiletries at the end of the conference.”
While noting that the role of WOWICAN in reaching out to women and children cannot be overemphasised, she said, “Our platform has also been a veritable one for empowering women on various skills. We have trained many women on how to make sanitizer, soap, black soap, goya oil, methylated spirit, hair and body cream; washing of gele, and many other skills so they could support their homes.”
She also mentioned how the National WOWICAN partnered with European Union and United Nations Women to empower many women in Lagos.
She then called on the government and the Church to come to the aid of the organisation so it could do more. “Our desire is to make more impact and empower more people. But we are constrained. Many of our members find it difficult to attend events that could be beneficial to them because of transportation.”
The WOWICAN chairperson then pleaded with the Lagos State Government and the Church for a Coaster Bus. She specifically asked the CAN Chairman, Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Adegbite, to help do something to achieve this. “Having a bus will ease our travels for meetings, South West, and national programs,” she noted.
Onojobi also pleaded with the CAN chairman to have WOWICAN in mind when a CAN Secretariat is eventually built. “We want to have a space in the building that could be used for a creche for WOWICAN to manage so we can enhance our purse.” she requested.
WOWICAN: Nigeria at a time like this
The four-day conference was themed, In times like this, we need an Anchor Heb.6:19. The Guest speaker, Rev. M. B. Ayando, said the theme was just appropriate for the Nigerian situation.
Making reference to the book of Esther 4:13-14, he said, “a time like this is a pointer, a symbol that there are specifics to be talked about. For us in Nigeria, what specifics are we pondering on? A time like this in Nigeria, speaks a lot to us about our governance.
“A time like this; when things are turning upside down and no remedy in sight. Mothers are in pain every day, crying for their children who are dying in their arms while they helplessly look on. Fathers are slaughtered like animals and their wives are made widows. Mothers are raped and slaughtered in the presence of their children. We are struggling to survive because of inflation with no savings for the future
“People are struggling to go to Christ and yet are being slaughtered inside the Church. Believers can no longer stand on their feet in public for fear of being arrested or being persecuted. It is a serious time indeed,” he said.
While praying that the church would stand strong in times of crisis and that believers would hold to their confession of faith, he said, “In a time like this our anchor is Jesus. We need to focus on him irrespective of any trial or tribulation.”
He likened an anchor to a strong iron built behind a ship to help steady it on the sea, or to a pole one can hold on to in hopeless or turbulent situations.
He said “an anchor is that which gives security and stability, which you fix your eyes upon daily and which makes you feel secured. It is what you trust in and which gives you the assurance of security and safety.”
Ayando emphasised further that “Jesus is all of these and even more. There are those whose anchors are lesser gods, shrines, and even in men. These anchors lead to doom. But Jesus Christ is our anchor, our God who is unchangeable, who is trusting, and who grants and guarantees lasting security. All we need do, all He requires of us and from us is a deep faith in him.”
Rev. Gideon Boudurang, the Leader of TEKAN/ECWA who earlier represented the CAN Chairman at the opening ceremony on Friday September 17 recognised the great work the women wing has been doing in Lagos State. By the time the chairman came later in the day, he expressed great delight at the effectiveness of the wing. He poured encomium on the WOWICAN Chairperson. He also highlighted the importance of women noting that they are strategic to societal development.
A day to the conference, the women went round the LAWNA Territory to share the love of Christ to people. The following day which was Saturday, September 18, Mrs. Adekemi Olufunmilola Adenuga gave a health talk on Cervical Cancer. The WOWICAN 2022 pocket diary was launched too.