By Onyeukwu Rowland Iheloghara
Wife of Ondo State Governor, Her Excellency Chief Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to identify with and support genuine Non-govermental Organizations (NGOs) in order to actualize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mrs Akeredolu gave this advice during an interactive media chat with the office of the Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on SDGs, who visited Ondo state to learn more about Ondo state first lady’s humanitarian initiatives, notably, BEMORE Initiative and Forum for Wives of Ondo state Officials, FOWOSO.
Speaking on what inspired emergence of the laudable initiatives, the sunshine state first lady, emphasized on the application of skills and knowledge obtained from going to school in order to solve societal problems. Mrs Akeredolu revealed that her growing up experiences in her local community of Emeabiam in which she had identified the subjugation of the girl child, through early marriage and lack of education, had propelled her to change the narrative for the girl child and women in general, hence the BEMORE initiative. She also stated that the Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) was borne out of the need to promote economic emancipation of women by equipping them with locally relevant skills to combat “feminized poverty” and gender inequality.
She further highlighted the importance of NGOs as veritable partners towards actualizing the SDGs, and therefore advised the federal government to do more to support genuine NGOs.
In his remarks, the Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, lauded Mrs Akeredolu, who is also the founder of Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF), on her giant strides in Ondo state and beyond through her NGOs, and promised to promulgate the success stories of the BEMORE and FOWOSO initiatives for other governors’ wives to take a cue from.
Highlights of the event were oral and video testimonials by BEMORE products, Tolu Ehinmosan and Marvelous Jegede, and some FOWOSO beneficiaries, including a brief sensitization on breast cancer and demonstration of breast self-examination by breast cancer advocate, Funmi Akeremale. Also on display were documentaries on the 2018 BEMORE Summer Bootcamp for Girls, and the FOWOSO empowerment outreaches in the 18 LGAs of Ondo state.
The event, which took place at the Rotunda hall, Government House, Alagbaka had in attendance one of the newly inaugurated Commissioners in Ondo state, Mrs Titi Adeyemi, some BEMORE Girls, FOWOSO members, and the BAAF team, including other government functionaries and the media.