..as Catholic Church honours Hon. Eucharia Uwamara
The First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has called on Nigerian women to rise up and work in togetherness to make the country a better place where everyone matters, regardless of gender.
She made the call, today, at the 3rd Laity Week Flag-off Lecture & Conferment of Awards, organised by the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria (CLCN) Ondo Diocese, held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Akure the state capital.
The Ondo First Lady, who graced the occasion in honour of an awardee and Councillor of Odigbo Ward 10, Ore, Hon. Mrs. Eucharia Uwamara, described her as a great woman who always support the cause of womanhood.
She lauded the church for recognising the great quality in Hon. Uwamara, which she demonstrated through her commitment to the work of God and the politics in Ondo State.
Mrs Akeredolu, who decried various challenges confronting Nigerian women, ranging from maltreatment, sexual violence, and bad widowhood rites, hinted that if there were enough female representation in the legislative chambers, these issues would get adequate attention.
According to her, the essence of the female emancipation struggle that States’ First Ladies and some Nigerian women groups embarked on recently, which was triggered by the rejection of gender bills by the federal lawmakers, was aimed at acquiring a space for women at the decision making table; saying, only a woman can understand the pain of another woman.
She gave kudos to the women groups that championed the fight against NASS’s rejection of the gender bills, some of which House of Representatives members later rescinded their decision about.
She, however, urged women in the struggle not to give up, saying it’s not yet over until all women’s demands were met by the National Assembly, noting that there’s no way women’s issues would be prioritized in men-dominated NASS.
Mrs. Akeredolu, while expressing joy knowing that the President of the Laity Council is a woman, encouraged every Nigerian woman to aspire high, saying “the kitchen, the sitting room, boardrooms, and House of Representatives are places a woman can be”.
She announced distribution of SOLAYO safe delivery kits to some indigent pregnant women in the church, as she assured that the initiative, which is her annual way of celebrating International Women’s day in Ondo state, would be extended to churches come 2023.
As part of her recommendations to eradicate social vices, including sexual and gender-based violence, the Ondo First Lady urged mothers to teach their boys and girls how to love rather than lust.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Diocesan Laity Council, Prof. Helen Ogunsuyi, had informed that Laity week is an annual event in Roman Catholic church where pertinent and contemporary issues bothering on the church and the society are discussed.
She hinted that the awardees which were conferred with “Ambassador of Christ Award”, were nominated from the 10 Deaneries of the diocese, and enjoined them to be relentless in their selfless commitments to the work of God and service to humanity.
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Rev. Dr. Jude Arogundade, who presented the award, encouraged the congregation to be actively involved in politics by participating in voting processes.
In her response to the honour, Hon. Uwamara, appreciated the church; she lauded the motherly role of Her Excellency in the woman she had become today.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
March 12, 2022.