Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has commenced her enlightenment initiative, Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO). The project spreads across the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State.
Addressing dignitaries at the inauguration of the project at M.K.O Democracy Park, Akure, Betty Akeredolu emphasized some objectives of FOWOSO, noting that it would help in developing and executing programmes that would build capacity in young and old women in the state.
She explained that FOWOSO will stand for and create equal opportunity for women of the state so as to prepare them to take charge when called upon. While stressing the need to urgently address low representation of women in position of real authority and decision-making, Mrs. Akeredolu noted that women’s roles have grown to the point where it is a loss to the society to segregate them from economic activity and decision-making processes.
Arabirin Akeredolu also expressed optimism that FOWOSO will become a lasting legacy that will continue to carry out projects aimed at empowering, establishing and encouraging girls and women to be more in the society even after she leaves office.
“We as women are capable of leaving lasting legacy in the annals of time of this great sunshine state and the nation at large. We believe that FOWOSO can be one of such legacies, not mine but of all women in this state. We believe that FOWOSO will be here for a long time, even after I leave, providing unity amongst women in the state to carry out projects aimed at empowering, establishing and encouraging girls and women to be more and do more”, she added.
The chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, in his opening address, congratulated the Ondo State people for the opportunities the project provides for them, saying that the Akeredolu led administration is determine to make the state better.
Alhaji Bello, represented by Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade, Secretary to Kogi State Government, commended the launch of FOWOSO, noting that it is indeed a great platform that would help the spouses of the officials in the state to complement the efforts of their husbands.
She urged members of FOWOSO to pay attention to issues that affects women and girl child as it has a way of influencing men noting that once the heart of the female constituency is captured, it will go a long way in bridging the gap between the government and the governed.
Earlier, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in his remark called for supports from members of FOWOSO while also expressing confidence that the forum will accomplish the purpose for which it was established.
Governor Akeredolu, who lauded his wife for her selfless services to humanity, stressed that she is a detribalized woman who is willing to continue to advocate for the cause of women and girl children.
In her goodwill message, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki acknowledged the good work being done in the state by the Akeredolu led government while also charging members of FOWOSO to support their First Lady to accomplish the goals of the forum.
She also urged women to wake up and take up the challenge of becoming relevant in key areas as they have a lot to contribute to the development of their state.
Also, two former First Ladies in Ondo State, Mrs. Grace Onyarugbulem and Olufunke Agagu, solicited supports for the success of the initiative by members of FOWOSO.
The climax of the event was the distribution of empowerment tools such as sewing machines, hairdressing machine and as well grinding machines to women across the 18 local government areas of the state. There was also free medical checkups.
Expressing gratitude for the empowerment, two of the beneficiaries, Ayodele Bosede from Akure South Local Government and Kaliyatu Olukoju from Akoko South West Local Government thanked Mrs. Akeredolu for coming up with the initiative noting that it would not have come at a better time than now when there is a growing need to be a pillar in their respective homes and provide support not only to their children but their husbands as well.