NOUN Librarian honoured for championing women's cause

By Sunday Adama
Okpala displays her award


A group, National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, has awarded the Librarian of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Dr. Angela Okpala with Mrs. Ladi Kwali Platinum Leadership award of excellence as "Icon of Women Development.”

The award was presented to the University Librarian on Monday, March 11, 2024 in her office at the university's headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.

Okpala received the award in recognition of her numerous contributions to humanity most especially the womenfolk, the co-ordinator of the group in Nigeria, Amb. Ibrahim Ibrahim said while presenting her with the award.Ibrahim said Okpala's contributions to women cause cannot be forgotten, adding that they have heard a lot about the University Librarian which, according to him, triggered the award.

"As part of the activity of the organisation, once a while, we single out individuals who have distinguished themselves in one way or the other, contributing to the growth of the nation; individuals who put the country first; and individuals who maintain their integrity.

"Ma, you have received numerous awards both nationally and internationally, you have also assisted the Library Society of Nigeria and we pray that more awards will come your way and host of heaven will also honour you," he said.

The coordinator added that "I want to categorically tell you today without any iota of doubt that by the special grace of God you will not die with your talent. It will manifest, it will be a source of joy to humanity, the society and country at large.

"We urge you today as you receive this award to keep on contributing to people's lives. If you have been helping one woman, we urge you to increase to ten. If you are sponsoring one girl-child education, we urge you to make it twenty. If you are mentoring five women, we urge you to make it fifty."

Responding, the elated awardee thanked the organisation as well as her visitors for finding her worthy for the award, saying that "whatever you do in the secret will determine what you will become in the open. Keep doing what you are doing if you think nobody is seeing you and today this award you have given me, I am dedicating it to all women out there.

"Women who have championed the cause of their families and the development of their families; women who have invariably contributed to the national development, I dedicate this award to you all. You are wonderful; women are wonderful.

"I want to appreciate you because this award came at a time when we are celebrating women internationally.  Also, I want to use this opportunity to celebrate women. Women are great. I want to thank you for the work you are doing, glorious women."

The librarian pointed out issues militating against girl-education, saying that “until illiteracy is eradicated among women that we will have the true taste of development in our nation. When you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Okpala who, frowned at early child marriage, pointed out that it is the reason why many girls are not going to school "because when they get married they will be overwhelmed with chores and obligations of marriage and they are not able to complete their education.

She however called on government to come with policies and not just coming up with policies but enforcing the implementations to ensure that child marriage is eradicated.

While calling on the organisation to continue to champion the cause of women, the NOUN Librarian hailed the organisation for doing a just cause, "and because you have given me this award,  I am not going to relent in helping women especially women that are down-trodden and widows. You have come to grace my strength and I will continue to do much more to the womenfolk."

The National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria is non-governmental organisation with the responsibility of championing the cause of women in the society.