By Debo Ikuesewo-Akinbami

The scene was of Oniparaga- a suburban part of Odigbo local government area of the state. The non- indegenes coalition, in their hundreds, had signalled support for governor Akeredolu on new convictions. Among them were the Igbo, Hausa and Igbira communities. Others were migrants from neighboring Osun state, who, until this time, belong in the opposition camps- mainly of the People’s Democratic Party and Zenith Labour Party. They were ready to follow Akeredolu for the love of Betty.

Motivated by the need to see and read the sociocultural situation within the hinterlands, spurred more by the need to attract government attention to the rural communities in the state- her innate drive, in line with the goals of government and for the love shown her by this peculiar class of citizens, Betty honoured the call. She did to time and with the a measure of enthusiasm that could be touched. Received with widened arms and evident ebullience, Mrs. Akeredolu, in return expressed lavish love.

It has been noted, elsewhere, that before the First Lady Betty, there has been the altruistic Betty. The altruistic Betty is the one who places primacy on the finesse of the weak around her, those at the base of rungs. The Betty who had authored formidable interventionist programmes in defense of the sickly and downtrodden. Today’s First Lady Betty, to borrow Wole Soyinka’s phrase, is the metamorphosis of the first Betty- the philanthropist and defender of the lowly. So, for her, to blend and with flow with the peasants was no issue.

These are the facts critics do not want to face. The truths they prefer to keep under the veil while shooting puerile political aspersions. And that is how it becomes crucial to lay it bare in critical moments as this, to clinically draw the line, so that one does not conveniently slid into dangerous errors while aiming for cheap political points. To situate issues correctly, therefore, one must be deeply dispassionate and accept the first portrait of that amazon who expended her foremost energies on humanity and momentous interventions before the page of power.

To this extent, the woman who now holds sway as First Lady is a made one, a finished product by any standard, not a woman to be distracted by the rum of office. Sans political sentiments, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is a woman whose
depth renders in awe. She carries a reputation for profundity of thoughts. And this necessarily explains the reason her offerings have been marked as profuse products of refined mental processes. Even so, the rate of erudition she deploys to issues perforce delivers the validation the good impression requires. The credences, all together, give her out as an ideologue with sturdy luster.

In expressing admiration to the rural communities, Betty dared to reassure them that the government cares so well about rural inhabitants like them. She defined the shape the government of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has taken since it came aboard. She simplified the workings of government to the rustic. She said the government is for all citizens, irrespective. She supplied these in the simplest possible terms, and without equivocation, to the extent that her interpretations spurred an intervention in this mould.

Delivered in clear and concise frames, she rested Akeredolu’s use of the first mandate on a tripod- reconstruction, rehabilitation and rescusitation. She did explain to the people that the heavy presence of government in Odigbo is essentially targeted at making life better for ordinary citizens. She told them how the Redemption Bridge at Ore is constructed to stop incessant and needless deaths of their people. Betty said the establishment of Ondo/Linyi Industrial Hub at Ore is to ultimately widen employment prospects for their youths.

She has peculiar plans, more in the interest of the vulnerable class. Strategically, she gives attentions more to themes that may not readily get government attention. She is focusing on the rustic parts, where the bigwigs rarely go to. She has repeatedly demonstrated this profound knack for the underdogs. She does with fighting for cancer carriers as she does with standing for victims of rape incidents. Her cares for widows are a resounding example of her passion for the poor.

Betty passed a message of hope to the underdogs, using the rural south as a contact. She promised them what she would do, how it would be done and how doing them would physically translate to improvements in their living conditions. The next morning, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was at Bolorunduro village in Ondo East local government area of the state. At, Bolorunduro, Arakunrin restated what Betty told constituents at Oniparaga.

The governor reechoed his plan to transform the rural communities in his second coming. He even mentioned how his second term would open up rural communities under the World Bank Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project RAAMP, which he said his administration has paid its counterpart funds.

He said more rural road projects would be executed to further encourage farmers and ensure food sufficiency in the state. By opening up the agrarian communities across the state, farmers would get their produce closer to markets thereby making them have value for their efforts in feeding the nation and encouraging young persons into becoming Agropreneurs. Was Betty whispering to him?