Why we must empower the girl-child –Mrs. Akeredolu
By Mary Agidi
Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu has again condemned the African ideology that relegates the female child to the background, and called on elderly women to jointly lend their voices to efforts to empower the girl-child.
She noted that the older generation of women have lost many years to silence and passiveness due to the ideology and couldn’t contribute enough to the national development, hence, the need for them to get the younger generation ready for the change.
She stated this in her keynote address entitled ‘Building the Next Generation of Female Leaders: The Girl Child Education’ at the maiden global reunion of Egbu Girls Old Girls Association, EGOGA in Egbu Secondary School Owerri, Imo state.
Arabinrin Akeredolu, an alumna of the school noted that her passion for promoting the cause of girl-child education was a way of building on the legacy of his late father who believed that women should fully participate in engineering the development of the society.
She condemned the idea that men and women are not equal, describing it as the greatest error of mankind.
“It is sad that up to this very moment, we continue to hurt ourselves badly as a nation by not investing in the girl-child. An investment in the girl-child is not only an investment that secures our nation’s future but one that also tranforms our present state.
“Today, I am living my father’s dream, I have dedicated my life to empowering the women folk simply because I understand that a prosperous woman equals a prosperous family and in turn a prosperous community”, she said
She applauded the move by EGOGA to start contributing to the infrastructural development of the school, and appealed to the management of the school to maintain and sustain the projects of the association.
The Chairman of the occasion, former Minister of Aviation, Dr. Mrs. Kema Chikwe commended Egbu secondary school for the confidence it instilled in its products.
She lauded Mrs. Akeredolu for her various women empowerment initiatives, affirming that she hadn’t met her before the event, but had been hearing much about her humanitarian services.
Also speaking, the Vice-Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the last general election, Mr. Peter Obi corroborated Mrs. Akeredolu that everyone must be involved in the investment in girl child education.
According to him, Nigeria invests only N4.4trillion in education for 10 years compared to South Africa that invested about 17bn dollars in education last year.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Principal of Egbu Girls Secondary School, Lady Onyekachi Basil-Nwachukwu had noted that the school was known for its high standard which made it to produce classical women that had come together to form EGOGA, the likes of Mrs. Akeredolu, and others.
At the dinner/gala night held at Rock View Hotel Owerri, the state capital, an award of Special Appreciation was therefore conferred on Mrs. Akeredolu by EGOGA for her contribution to the school.