The First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, today received the Counselling Association of Nigeria (CASSON) presidential meritorious award of excellence.

The association, which aims at promoting the activities of guidance and counselling within and outside Nigerian Universities, presented the award to the First Lady in absentia during its 45th Conference held at the University of Ibadan on the 17th of August 2021.

The official handing over of the plaque was done by the chairperson of CASSON, Oyo State Chapter, Dr Ndidi Ofole, who led a delegation of its members from Oyo and Ondo state chapters to the Government House, Akure, on the 12th of January, 2022.

In her speech, Dr Ndidi Ofole mentioned that Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu was given the award under the leadership of Professor Elizabeth Egbochukwu for her tremendous effort in nation-building, primarily in the areas of women and girl-child empowerment in Ondo State and beyond.

Dr Ofole noted that Mrs Akeredolu has been a recipient of many awards, pointed out the CASSON award is distinct, being a presidential meritorious award coming from the Academia. They do not seek positions or irrelevant attention.

“ This is an award of excellence in humanitarian services; It’s a presidential award from Counseling Association of Nigeria (CASSON) to deserving Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their services towards Humanity.

“Her activities towards humanity all over Nigeria, especially in Ondo State, are evident. She raised breast health awareness with BRECAN such that even in schools nationwide, adolescents know about breast self-examination. In addition, you know that women and girls are the neglected part of the population. She ensured that they were empowered in terms of technology, knowledge and skills. She has organised empowerment programs for women where they learn entrepreneurial skills so that they too can contribute financially at home.

“ Based on all she is doing, as an association, my president, Prof Elizabeth Egbochukwu, deemed it fit to accept her nomination from the Oyo Chapter of CASSON.”

Dr Joseph Babajide Oyadeyi, the chairman of Ondo State Chapter, in his remarks, congratulated Her Excellency for the many national awards and recognitions, affirming that they are a testament to her hard work and support for the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN.

He further indicated that the Ondo state chapter would be glad to work with the First Lady on her projects.

Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, in her response, welcomed and appreciated CASSON for the honour bestowed on her, while also expressing her delight at the University of Ibadan Institutional Clock presented by Dr Ofole, as an alumnus of the University.

Acknowledging the vital roles counsellors play in society, the First Lady of Ondo State, and founder of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, assured the state chapter of future collaborations on some of her initiatives, such as BRECAN.

“ You know, with BRECAN, there is a role for counsellors. They have the right words to use for a breast cancer patient or families who have just lost a dear one to breast cancer. Words spoken innocently when comforting someone can sometimes trigger the wrong emotions. We need counsellors who are professionals,” she said.

Story by Media Team, Office of Ondo State First Lady.