By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA– THE Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Arabirin Anyanwu-Akeredolu , said the launch of her initiative, Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials, FOWOSO, targets capacity building of both young and old Ondo women and also for projects execution.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu who made this known to her guests during the launch in Akure, the State capital, said the essence of FOWOSO was to create equal opportunity for women of the state so as to prepare them to take charge when called upon.
She further stated that the need to urgently address low representation of women in position of real authority and decision-making became imperative, hence the launch of FOWOSO based on the role women play, which also has grown to the point where it is a loss to the society to segregate them from economic activity and decision-making processes.
She also expressed optimism that FOWOSO will become a lasting legacy that will continue to carry out projects aimed at empowering, establishing and encouraging girls and women to be more in the society even after she leaves office.
Among the dignitaries who were present at the launching included Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello who also doubled as chairman of the occasion, ably represented by the Secretary to Kogi State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade, Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, wife of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Chief Ajewole Ajayi, wives of past Governors in the state, royal fathers, and other leaders.
The climax of the event was the distribution of empowerment tools such as sewing machines, hairdressing machines, and grinding machines to women across the 18 local government areas of the state, free medical checkups were also carried out on the people.
She said: “We as women are capable of leaving lasting legacy in the annals of time of this great sunshine state and the nation at large. We believe that FOWOSO can be one of such legacies, not mine but of all women in this state.
“We believe that FOWOSO will be here for a long time, even after I leave, providing unity amongst women in the state to carry out projects aimed at empowering, establishing and encouraging girls and women to be more and do more.”
In the chairman’s remark, principle of good governance is paramount to positively impact on the people irrespective of whom they are, which the Akeredolu-led government has been known for.
Bello also noted that the launch of FOWOSO which was apt will serve as a platform that would help spouses of the elected officials in the state to complement the efforts of their husbands.
He also tasked the initiator of FOWOSO and her team to pay attention to issues that affect women and the girl-child as it has a way of influencing men to do what is right.
Earlier in his speech, the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, called on the people to support FOWOSO, and added that the objectives of the initiative will be achieved as he lauded his wife for her selfless services to humanity, because she was a detribalised woman who is willing to continue to advocate for the cause of women and girl-child anywhere anytime.
Meanwhile, in her goodwill message, the wife of Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki, charged members of FOWOSO to support and ensure her counterpart and initiator of the project succeeds and achieves her dream for women and children in the state.