By Femi Salako
The Psalmist admonishes us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. This Bible verse is an unmistaken advise that birthday is not just a day of fun and merriments; but a day of stock taking and to appraise our contributions to the cause of humanity. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Her Excellency, Arabinrin Betty Akeredolu could confidently look back and declare that she has indeed served the cause of humanity to the very best of her abilities. She is a known cheerful giver whose philosophy of giving predates the emergence of her husband as the governor of the Sunshine state in February, 2017. After all, we don’t need a greater judge once our conscience judges us.
The birthday of Arabinrin Betty Akeredolu was indeed a day of manifold blessings to the good people of the Sunshine state.
For those who are close watchers and acquintances of the wife of Ondo State governor, Mrs. Betty Anyawu-Akeredolu, in the years long proceeding her new status as Ondo’s first Lady, even long before her status as Founder and President of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), vouching for him as both dependable and affable won’t be a hard task. She’s been a highly resourceful personality and very supportive wife to her lawyer-hubby for ages.
A graduate of Zoology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mrs. Akeredolu holds a master’s degree in Fisheries(major in Aquaculture) from University of the Philippines. Besides her engagements in core entrepreneurship deeds, she does her family dealings with utmost respect. It may interest readers to know that apart from the fact that she coordinates an NGO, she is also the chief executive officer/owner of Aquatek Farms Ventures, yet, Betty Akeredolu has always been ensuring that her marriage to Rotimi, which is blessed with four successful children: Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Jnr), Dr. Teniola Akeredolu, Mrs.Yejide Runsewe and Babajide Akeredolu receives primacy.
Mrs Betty Chioma Akeredolu (nee Anyanwu), hails from Emeabiam in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo state, Eastern, Nigeria. She was born on the 20th of July, 1953 to the family of Chief and Mrs. B. Anyanwu. Mrs Betty is infectiously happy often that you will only marvel when you see her rocking her Igbo attire despite being a cancer survivor. After she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 1997, she underwent treatment and eventually survived the deadly disease. Her ordeal became her driving force which spurred her to go ahead to start a Nonprofit Organisation in 1997, known as Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), which focuses mainly on awareness of the disease. She is also a strong supporter of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement.
Mrs Akeredolu is passionate about women’s health and happiness in all ramifications, and one can see this passion in her spirited advocacy against cancer , a programme into which she puts her all to enhance awareness. Highly enterprising, Aquafarm, her own investment which she started several years ago ,a branch of which is a fish farm known as Aquatek Farms Ventures, in Ibadan, Oyo state, is a testimony to her industry.
The sunshine state First Lady has always been spirited and active in the fight against the cancerous diseases as she continues to nudge Nigerian women need to know and pay attention to the fact that the fight against breast cancer can be won by doing the right thing at the right time which include early notice of any change or lump in their breast ,for which they must go to the hospital immediately and not going from one prayer house to another for solution while allowing the cancer cells to multiply.
The first lady is also popular for her commitment to philanthropical endeavors. Only lately, she donated brand new motorcycle, cartons of baby milk, packs of diapers and a cash gift to the indigent parents of triplets. The story one the father of the triplets, a commercial motorcycle rider is one that touches on raw feeling. He lost his only source of income when his motorcycle was taken away by the owner few days of his wife’s delivery. The mother of the triplets, also a housewife and her husband met compassionate Mrs Akeredolu during her visit to Ondo State Children’s home, Oba-Ile, Akure, and their story changed.
First Lady is a thorough wife to the core who advises womenfolk to place primacy on their home and make good use of whatever opportunity that presents itself to them and to always support their husbands as she does unflinchingly to her husband every step of the way. Even during the dirty days of electioneering Betty’s facebook page was always littered with pictures of her husband’s campaign, both from the previous election in 2012 and the 2016 election.