The Lagos State Chapter of Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, DWAN, is on her way to experience a new lease of life and renewed sense of direction after her election on Saturday, 19th November 2022 brought together new set of executive officials that will pilot the organization’s affairs for the next four years 2022- 2026.
The association’s members had gathered at the National Stadium, Surulere Lagos to cast votes for their choice representatives in a most transparent and democratic election witnessed by officials of the Indepedent National Electoral Commission (INEC), representatives of Lagos Disability Community as external observers.
The occasion was ably anchored by Ahmed Dikko, an official of Lagos State Association of the Deaf who kick – start the occassion with brief introduction of dignitaries, electoral umpires and independent observers.
INN reports that prior to the casting of votes, DWAN founder, and erstwhile national president, Deaconess (Mrs) Adedoyin Beyioku-Alase (aka Mama Deaf) set the pace by providing core orientation on the essence of the gathering.
In a short and moving speech, Mama Deaf, as she is fondly called, rekindled the original spirit of the Association in a brief flashback on DWAN’s history dating back to 2001. She recounted her personal vision for starting the association, the challenges encountered, and the growth so far. Mama also dropped nuggets on the place of responsible leadership and followership in continuing the DWAN dream.
Her words: “there can be no leader without loyal followers”.
She thereafter encouraged respect for constituted authority within the association while charging the incoming executives to brace up for the task ahead.
Earlier on his remarks, Mr Kelani an indepedent observer representing Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) had in a goodwill message wished DWAN long live and progress
Mr. Kelani used the occasion to eulogize Mama Deaf on her well-intentioned vision and unmatched legacy in founding and growing the association through the years. He also charged members to be true followers of the Founder and always accord her the respect she has rightfully earned through her tireless commitment to the growth and development of Deaf Women in Nigeria. He further urged unity of purpose among the Deaf women and charged the incoming executives to carry on Mama’s legacy.
His words: “Mama has always talked about her resolve to ensure DWAN continues when she is gone”.
According to him, “those are big words to reflect upon, indeed she had played her part and it is up to the followers to be true to the dream of the founder” he added.
On his part, the INEC representative Mr. Buba Luka who was on hand both as an observer and electoral umpire, encouraged active political participation by the Deaf women for their voices to be heard.
He charged them to register and collect their PVCs so that they can vote in next year’s general elections. To buttress his message on active political participation, Mr Luka offered the gathering helpful tips on the electoral and political process.
It was gatherred that at the end of the day, nine candidates, majority of whom were voted in unopposed, filled the available vacant positions in the association.
Those elected as new executive members were Ms. Ogundipe Monsurat Kikelomo, Chairperson, Mrs. Adejuyigbrede Adejoke, – Vice Chairperson, Okediji Blessing Oluwatobi – Secretary General, Blessing Ngozi Iyasere ,Assistant Secretary, Adeosun Motayo M. – Treasurer.
Others are Ms. Shakirat Alaya- Financial Secretary, Ogundare Odunlami O. – Public Relations Officer, Rachael Green – Social/Welfare Secretary and Ifediora Amaka Lydia who emerged as Chief Whip.