By Maria Famakinwa
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu has led other members of the Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) to the 16th edition of the empowerment programme at Ondo West Local Government where participants who were trained freely on different skills like beads making, shoe making, bag making, soap making among others were given start up kits.
The event which took place at Saint Monica’s Grammar School, Ondo also enabled women who have learnt tailoring and hair dressing but could not start due to financial challenges to receive sewing machines and hair dryers. Women who were jobless were given grinding machines and students were also given laptops to aid their learning. The physically challenged also went home with wheelchairs.
In his welcome address, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, HRM Oba (Dr) Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo explained that the people of the city were mourning the loss of their illustrious son, late Chief Ope Bademosi which was the reason other Chiefs were not around.
“Though, we are not supposed to receive any visitor at this mourning period because late Chief Bademosi was the Chairman of Ondo Development Committee and was committed to the progress of Ondo Kingdom, but when we considered your efforts at empowering women and girls across the state for self sustainability, especially sensitizing them about breast cancer, that is no longer a death sentence this gladens our hearts and we pray for more strength for you to do more.
“We also want to commend the efforts of the Governor, Akeredolu on various developmental projects embarked upon across the State.
Particularly, University of Medical Science, Ondo.” Oba Kiladejo promised to invite the First Lady to his palace to show how hospitable they are in Ondo. A minute silence was observed in honour of late Bademosi.
In her response, Mrs Akeredolu commiserated with Oba Kiladejo and the entire people of Ondo city over the death of their illustrious son and prayed to God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The First Lady who described FOWOSO as a train moving from one Local Government to another in the state to empower women, so that they can be economically productive and contribute to the development of the state said that one of the participants in the local government was completely blind, but was trained on how to make beads during FOWOSO programme and can now make different beads.
“I became emotional when the picture of the blind woman making beads was sent to me and I have decided that her beads will be used by all FOWOSO members, including myself in order to showcase to the State and the world at large one of the many benefits of FOWOSO empowerment programme.