By CHIOMA OBINNA
THe need to promote a healthy family with a view to ensuring a progressive Nigeria took the centre stage last week at the 2012 edition of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ Family Week in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company with theme: “Healthy Family, Progressive Nation”.
Stakeholders who gathered at the event maintained that role of the family was key in achieving a better Nigeria.
In his presentation at the occasion titled:”Building A New Nigeria: The Role of the Family Towards National Transformation”, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku who was represented by the Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria, Mrs. Oluremi Oyo pointed out that for a nation to progress, the family must be a healthy.
His words, “For the nation to be a healthy and fruitful one, it must have been nurtured under the most enduring values which our nation was known for”
Maku decried the erosion of the basic ethos of the country’s national values by the gradual and the near total elimination of family values as young parents put money and work ahead of upbringing of children.
The Information Minister stated that the lapse had led to the culture of vices such as cultism, hooliganism, examination malpractices, rape as well as religious fanaticism, adding that the time to act is now, to right the wrongs and get the country back on track with the family as the starting point.
He said:”As stakeholders in the destiny of our country, we must ensure that our children are brought up in the fear of God, righteousness, honesty and integrity as well as a total abhorrence for violence and evil.”
He called on journalists, particularly, members of NAWOJ to promote the importance of good parenting in their various articles.
Speaking, the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Adefulire who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Risikat Akinyode said that a nation could not progress if the health care of its citizens was not given necessary priority.
Her words, “Of particular attention is the health of our women who are mothers and have been divinely blessed in the multiplying race. The complex roles of catering for our families and striving for excellence at our workplaces demands that we pay greater attention to our health. Our health is key to our personal, family and national prosperity
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Aderemi Ibirogba who was represented by Mrs Olugbemi Ozojiofor said that in order to have a healthy family, it was important to tackle peculiar challenges which developing countries faced
“In Nigeria, the family’s health is challenged by problems such as inadequate health facilities, sanitation, potable water supply and lack of shelter. The Nigerian family is currently threatened by bomb blasts, collapse buildings and vandalisation of social infrastructures in events of civil protest. Therefore let us all bequeath such a healthy family legacy and lay sustainable structures for a progressive nation for our up coming generations.”
Meanwhile, as part of its commitment to promote sustainable communities and an active healthy population, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, last week partnered the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ in the celebration of its Family Week’; an initiative aimed at enlightening women and the general public on the importance of strong family ties and active healthy living in nation building.
The NAWOJ Family Week commenced with a six-kilometre walk which kicked-off from the Ikeja Local Government Council to the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation, Alausa, Ikeja.
The walk sponsored by Eva premium table water from the stable of The Coca-Cola Company attracted over 300 participants including NAWOJ members and their families, male journalists, National Youth Service Corp, NYSC members, some Coca-Cola employees, market women and members of the general public