By Mary Agidi
The wife of Ondo State governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu has re-emphasised that the aim of the Foundation of Wives of Government Officials, FOWOSO, was the empowerment of rural women contrary to insinuation in some quarters that it is for the elites.
Speaking on behalf of the First Lady during a sensitisation visit to the management of Ondo State Radiovision Corporation, OSRC, the Chairman of the 2019 FOWOSO Summit, Mrs. Mercy Femi-Idris stated that the initiative is not an elitist one, as majority of the beneficiaries were less privileged women across the 18 local government areas of the state.
According to her, the FOWOSO programme, which had been taken to all the local governments within the two years of the current administration in Ondo state, has empowered thousands of rural women with skills acquisition, trading equipment, among others.
She noted that since FOWOSO initiative focuses on women empowerment through distribution of grinding machines, beads, refrigerator, hair dryers, etc, an elite couldn’t have been the beneficiary of such items.
She added that some youths were empowered with laptops across the 18 local governments through FOWOSO platform, and the beneficiaries were children of the vulnerable people.
Mrs. Akeredolu added that the initiative was aimed at helping rural women, regardless of political affiliation, in contributing to the upkeep of their children in order to lessen the burden of husbands, noting that physically challenged were not left behind.
Responding, the OSRC Chairman, Mr. Kunle Adebayo commended the initiative and bestowed an award of outstanding performance on Mrs. Akeredolu.
He affirmed that evidences have shown that the initiative has really impacted the lives of rural women, and far from propaganda.
The OSRC boss, therefore, assured of the support of the foundation in terms of adequate publicity for the forthcoming FOWOSO Summit’s activities.
Receiving the award on behalf of the First Lady, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi noted that the honour would spur her to do more.
Other members of the committee included the Chief Press Secretary to the Ondo state First Lady Oluwatobiloba Fademi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr Wunmi Ilawole, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Affairs, Mrs. Magaret Atere and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Mobilization from the three Senatorial Districts, Mrs. Akeju (North) Mrs. Ronke Ojo (Central), and Mrs. Morenike Alaka (South).
The 2nd FOWOSO Summit would hold between December 4th and 5th December, 2019 at the International events centre, The Dome, Akure, with the theme, “Prioritising Women’s Health and Wellbeing in Nigeria”.