By Mary Agidi
The wife of Ondo State governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu has dedicated the Grand Amazon award bestowed on her by the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, to all women who have worked and still working selflessly for the emancipation of the women folk.
Mrs. Akeredolu who stated this at the Dinner and Award night organised by NAWOJ as part of activities to mark the association’s 30th anniversary at Radio House Garki Abuja, noted that the honour would serve as an extra nudge for her not to never give up on her passion to see a gender balanced society.
She described her passion to pursue the cause of gender equality as a dogged one, and not aimed at inviting public recognition.
She stressed the need for women to be empowered with skills in order to achieve a gender balanced society.
Mrs. Akeredolu charged women journalists to use their status as media professionals to achieve the quest for gender equality in Nigeria.
She further stressed the need for a good knowledge of science, technology and mathematics in order to significantly contribute to the 21st century development.
“It is from this ideology that we founded the BEMORE Empowered Initiative with the aim of ensuring that no girl is beclouded by stereotypes and handicapped by lack of opportunities in becoming an authority in science and technology”. She said.
Mrs. Akeredolu, therefore, assured of her commitment to continually train the young girls so that they can realise they can contribute to the development of the nation.
Earlier in her welcome address, the NAWOJ national President, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Omowole had described the anniversary as a celebration of God’s grace, noting that the association had encountered so many challenges capable of destroying it but struggled to survive.
She stated that women journalists have moved from mere newsroom officers to the managerial positions in media houses, and have been reporting crime-prone areas like their male colleagues.
The Royal father of the day, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, charged NAWOJ members to focus on youths, children and women’s cause through advocacy, noting that they are the victims of insurgencies.
Represented by Alhaji Kudu Abubakar, the Etsu Nupe enjoined women journalists to join hands with relevant authorities to collectively change the narrative of the vulnerable ones in Nigeria.
NAWOJ honoured Mrs. Akeredolu with 2019 Grand Amazon Award in recognition of her advocacy programmes aim at promoting and empowering women in the society, and for her quest to pursue a gender-balanced society.
Other awardees were the wife of Akwa-Ibom state governor, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, the First Lady of Bauchi State, Dr. Aisha Bala Mohammed, the First Lady of Niger State, Dr. Mrs. Amina Abubakar, and the national President of NUJ, Mr. Chris Isiguzo for his gender sensitive appointments in the union.
In attendance were the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social development, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi, an All Progressive Congress chieftain Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi, the former Chairman of Akure South Local government, Mrs. Margret Atere, among others.