Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu officially launched her initiative, Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) at a colourful event which witnessed display of cultures from across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State.
The epoch making event drew governors and politicians across the country such as Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the Chairman of the occasion, the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, the wife of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Chief Mrs. Ajewole Agboola Ajayi, wives of past Governors in the state, royal fathers, among other leaders in the state.
Addressing the gathering at the M.K.O Democracy Park in Akure, the initiator, Mrs. Akeredolu stressed some of the 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, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State in his opening address, expresse congratulations to Ondo State people saying that the Akeredolu led government is known for running its government on the principle of good governance.
Alhaji Bello who was ably represented by Mrs Folashade Arike Ayoade, the 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.
While also expressing congratulations to members of the state, two former First Ladies in Ondo State, Mrs. Grace Onyarugbulem and Olufunke Agagu solicited for 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 check ups.
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.