COWA celebrates Children’s Day in Rivers

It was glamour and all smiles at Customs Barracks Ebubu in Eleme, Rivers state Monday as the Customs Officers Wives Association, (COWA), a non – governmental, non religious and non political organization with the mission to empower and support customs officers’ wives to achieve self sustainability and economic independence through education, sensitization and capacity building, celebrated children’s day.

The event which was organized by the Customs Area 11, Command Onne Port Harcourt With the theme: Protecting the Nigerian Child from the Dangers of Online Technology “Promoting Inclusivity”, was graced by Haj. Amina A. Babandede, COWA Chairperson, Customs Area 11 Command Onne Port Harcourt.

In her opening speech, Haj, Babandede had welcomed all the children and thanked the parents for making their children available to partake in the wonderful and fun filled celebration. She further expressed her satisfaction on a foundation well laid by her predecessor Mrs. Yakaka Imam whom she noted had laid a solid foundation which according to her she intended to continue working on “when I came, I met a very well laid foundation already established by my predecessor, Mrs Yakaka Baba Imam, I will continue on that for the betterment of all COWA members” she emphasized. Inisting that even at the headquarters COWA Onne is doing well and l want to maintain the standard of the Command, it has been on, and I will continue to do that”

Speaking further, she thanked the COWA National President, Mrs Kikelomo Adeniyi for her wonderful support and encouragement and also for revitalizing the once moribund COWA through the effort of her amiable husband, the Comptroller General of Customs BA Adeniyi MFR.

Earlier in her welcome address, Miss Ọchị All-Round Success,has thanked everyone for coming and went further to explain the theme of the day as “Promote Inclusivity”.

According to Ọchị, “Inclusivity means protecting the Nigeria child from the danger of online technology which is timely and critical. “Our parents are here invited to explore and articulate strategies that help safe guard children against the myriad of risks associated with our increasing digital lifestyle.” She said.

She went further to encourage the parents to give the children more attention as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

Speaking to the children, she said, “For all children here and outside, I am wishing you a day filled with joy and laughter. May our dreams be big as our imagination, may our journey through childhood be filled with wisdom and may we have the courage to chase our dreams”.

In a lighter mood, games and competitions at the colourful event stood out to be the climax of the event. The children participated in fun games and dancing competitions.

Interviewing one of the children and a winner of one of the competitions, Treasure Umezurike with overwhelming joy, she thanked the organizers and COWA Chairperson for an opportunity to unwind and celebrate with her peers on a day like this. She said children should be serious in whatever they are doing and never to loose focus even as she promised to make her parents proud.

To Master Joseph Oko, “God will bless COWA for organizing such event for children”

Speaking to a COWA member, Mrs Philomina Isibor, who disclosed that the event was in line with the organizations’ objective which is to create a long lasting bond amongst them, expressed her profound gratitude to COWA Chairperson Haj. Amina for this wonderful experience while thanking God for a successful event.

She said many women are in the rooms wasting their potential but with such events, women are coming out. “We are in the rooms not because we don’t know what to do but, with this social gathering women are beginning to harness their potentials” She said she was happy to be a customs officer’s wife.

The COWA liaison officer, Area II Customs Command Onne, Superintendent of Customs (SC) Leticia Ikegwuonu reiterated that the COWA is a non-profit organization with the sole aim of empowering the wives of Customs Officers and the society at large.

She said, “The COWA Chairperson Haj. Amina.A. Babandede has taken it upon herself to see to the success of the event and extending the hand of fellowship,of our National president, Mrs. Adeniyi Kikelomo to show the children love by engaging them in children’s day activities, games, fun, quiz and many others. We even hired Bouncing castle to make sure they have fun.

To make them know we value and love them.”

She continued to say that she believed that this event would make other customs wives to cue into their vision.

“By the time they see this, the colour of the event, everyone even the FOU, CIU and other Area commands would be compelled to register with us”, she said.

At the end of the event, the children were gifted with educational tools such as exercise books and stationery.

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