Ambode Tasks Couples to Invest in Building Strong Family Bond for Stable/Progressive Society

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode & his wife, Mrs Bolanle (middle); Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule (2nd left); Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade (left); Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello and his wife Prof. Ibiyemi, during the 2016 International Day of Families themed "Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future", at the Lagos House, Ikeja last week

In what can be described as an auspicious platform for couples to reconnect and rekindle the fire of love and warmth, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode last week hosted a cross section distinguished couples from all the local government areas of the state to a colourful party to mark the International Family Day as earmarked by the United Nations General Assembly.
The event, which held at the Lagos House, Ikeja had in attendance the first family of the state, Mr.  & Mrs. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, some members of the executive council, legislators, body of permanent secretaries, local government chairmen and many other distinguished individuals who all came with their spouses to share in the joy of the day.
Speaking at the occasion, Her Excellency, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode stressed that “The role of the family institution in creating and providing a healthy and sustainable future cannot be compromised, particularly in ensuring overall development of the entire family emotionally, economically and spiritually.”
“The stability or otherwise of the society has been attributed to the role of the family. Family is generally regarded as the pillar of the society. Without strong and united families, the stability and foundation of our society will be weak. A stable family structure is one of the basic building blocks for a healthy society”, said she.
Ambode further identified communication, social interaction, love and mutual respect for one another as the basic fundamentals upon which the family unit thrives, adding that without all or any of these, a family can hardly be united and peaceful.
She traced the multiple vices and criminal activities plaguing our nation today to poor family values and called on parents, guardians and all stakeholders to  ensure that the family institution does not derail from its all important function of building a society that is decent, safe and progressive.
Touching on the United Nation’s theme for this year’s International Family Day, which is: Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future, the First Lady noted that “The most important legacy we can give to our children is to adequately care for them, inculcate in the positive values, equip them with good morals through education and socialization and also train them in the fear of the Lord.”
 She also seized the occasion to caution against all forms of domestic violence, calling for a united resolve to protect the wife and children from all forms of abuse.
“Women and children are meant to be pampered not battered”, she emphasized.
 In her call to action, wife of the Governor urged couples present to resolve to begin to mend the leaks and embrace love afresh, for the sake of the children and our dear country, Nigeria.

Lending his voice and unflinching support, the governor of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode noted that the family is the smallest and most important unit of society.
His words, “We were all born into a family and our families have influenced and shaped our lives in many ways.  Some of the most important moments of our lives have taken place within the family. It is for this reason that the United Nations places a lot of emphasis on the family as a key factor in human relations thereby setting aside this day to celebrate the value of “family bond” across ethnic, religious, social and economic divide.”
The governor also identified the many acts of terror and insecurity and even the rising wave of domestic violence today to dysfunctional family backgrounds.
“A lot of the acts of terror and violence that have ruptured global peace and security can be traced to the absence of strong family ties. Most of the recorded incidents of domestic violence are as a result of dysfunctional family backgrounds. Our traditional family cohesion and bond has weakened due to daily life challenges of trying to make ends meet”, said he.
While calling on everyone to, as a matter of urgency and in spite of the demanding pace of life, pause and find time to re-connect with our families, he stressed that “Our families need us. Our children need us. The family always provides emotional support in times of need. We have family members in need of emotional, physical and moral support. The support and encouragement given to a family member today can prevent a violent act of terror or suicide tomorrow”.
“We must start at the family to reintroduce the norms and values which we grew up with. Our families must reintroduce and imbibe the values of honesty, respect, morality, good neighbourliness, peace and love. We must work towards living in harmony with family members and ensuring safety of lives through healthy practices”, he urged.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of gifts to the winning families for the day. The third runner up was Hon. & Mrs. Abayomi Lapite while the second runner up was Dr.  & Mrs. Gbabamosi Mudasiru. The first runner up and overall winner for the day were Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Bosun Ayinde.
In his response, Rev. Dr. Ayinde, who has been married to his wife for 51 years charged the youths and younger couples to believe that marriage works and that it is not about the length of years spent in it but about the quality of relationship.
His words, “I am 77 years old now and my wife is 75. My advice to men is that if your marriage fails, you will suffer in old age. The Bible says the duty of the man is to make his wife happy and that is the secret of long life and peace.”
Other side attractions for the day were couples’ dance and presentation of gifts, with lots of delicacies to eat and drink.

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