More than 1,500 members of the Western Nigeria Union Conference (WNUC) Adventist Women’s Ministries rose from the 2022 national convention resolved to make a difference in issues affecting women in Nigeria. The event took place on the Babcock University campus (in the amphitheater) on August 24–28, 2022.
To make good on their resolve, the programme created a rallying point for the funding of a women’s empowerment center.
Themed “I Will Go,” in line with the global church’s call to mission, the programme formed part of the drive towards equipping women with more than spiritual tools to contribute to national development.
It also aimed at building stronger family values, morals, and intellectual empowerment through addressing some areas of female vulnerability: abuse, health risks, literacy, poverty, leadership training, and dealing with 21st-century children, among others.
Besides national delegates, it attracted leaders from the church’s West Central Africa Division (WAD) headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, including Mrs. Omobonike Sessou.
Her Excellency, the First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, represented by Mrs. Oluwakemi Osude-Laniyan, solicitor and advocate, and her Abia State counterpart, Her Excellency, Dr. Nkechi Ikpeazu, were also there to give their support in company of the WNUC president, Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi, and Babcock University president and vice chancellor, Prof. Ademola S. Tayo.
Dr. Ikpeazu, represented by Mrs. Nwamara Nnaji, the chairperson for the Society of Women Accountants in Nigeria, encouraged the women to inculcate strong family values, as these would, in turn, influence their children’s mental development.
“This convention will undoubtedly provide a platform for spiritual and social networking,” said Prof. Tayo. “In your unique roles as mothers, faith builders, and co-labourers, I encourage you to remain steadfast and lift up Jesus.”
Mrs. Sessou, who represented Mrs. Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference AWM director, encouraged participants to maximize the time at the conference to expand their knowledge base of God’s Word and take full advantage of the seminars and lectures.
The AWM members and leaders have resolved to succeed against all odds. Their resolve is captured in the words of the WNUC Women’s Ministries director, Mrs. Rose Ijeh. “It is my hope and prayer that by the time we leave [these] grounds, we will be better wives, mothers, and managers of our homes and be better equipped to preach the gospel to the world.” The Adventist women are conscious about the challenge in the most inhabited country of Africa. The UN estimates the July 1, 2022, population of Nigeria at 218,541,212.
The Western Nigeria Union Conference has 63,259 members as of June 30, 2022. The headquarters is in Lagos, Nigeria. It is one of the three unions that operate in Nigeria, alongside the Northern Nigeria Union Conference and the Eastern Nigeria Union Conference.