..says the desire to make humanity better births her initiatives
..advocates fair share for women
In recognition of her numerous positive contributions to the society through various empowerment initiatives, including advocacy against sexual and gender based violence, the First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has bagged a ‘Golden Voice’ award for being a voice to the vulnerable groups.
The award was conferred on her by the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, Ondo State Chapter, at a dinner&award ceremony organised in her honour as part of the 2022 Law week activities of the association.
In her welcome address, the Chairperson of FIDA, Mrs. Jumoke Ogunjebi said the dinner was in honour of Her Excellency for the numerous life-changing initiatives, especially her efforts at ensuring that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law. VAPP, was domesticated in the state, breast cancer awareness, nurturing of girls among others.
She hinted that the award given the First Lady also formed the theme of the dinner ‘The Golden Voice’, to really show that it was, indeed, organised in her honour.
Responding to the honour, Mrs Akeredolu appreciated FIDA for finding her worthy of such. She affirmed that from all the numerous laurels she’d received, none had given her this special recognition by holding a dinner in her honour.
She stated that the desire to make humanity better and the country at large, birthed all her initiatives, as she dedicated the award to women across the globe, who are striving to make excellence.
According to her, many people miscontrued having feminism tendency to mean rubbing shoulders with men, noting that the desire to be a voice to the womenfolk was very dear to her heart, that the female gender should be given fair share.
She averred that if women received fair treatment from men, it would bring about development, stating that for the society to be a better place, “we must begin to recognise the worth of women”.
She maintained that if female gender was given equal opportunity to maximise her God-given potential like male counterpart, it would attract numerous benefits for all, saying women looked at softer spot to proffer solutions to problems.
According to her, every family in Ondo State felt the impact of her programmes in one way or the other, as she disclosed that this year’s Arabirin summer tennis clinic would be held in the three senatorial districts of the state for other children to benefit.
Narrating how FIDA members had supported her BRECAN advocacy in Ibadan, down to how Imo chapter rose to the case of a girl who was sexually abused in Emeabiam her hometown, she said:”What FIDA has been doing is simply amazing. FIDA tends to have different understanding of how a society should be, to be their brother’s keepers. I have been doing many things in common with FIDA right from Oyo State”.
Affirming her high regard for FIDA, Mrs Akeredolu hinted that her relationship with female lawyers had, repeatedly, yielded great results that impacted humanity. She considered the honour as a product of their mutual struggle to the cause of humanity, saying she would always cherish it and would persuade her to do more.
She used the medium to admonish other women to support FIDA financially, in order to aid their humanitarian services, many of which affected women and girls, mostly.
Being an Apostle of ‘Women Supporting Women’, she encouraged women to Vote for their type during election periods so as to increase female representation at the decision-making tables.
The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, SAN, lauded Ondo FIDA members for devoting their activities to their core mandate area which is fighting gender based violence, including ensuring bills relating to the vulnerable groups were passed into law. He affirmed that selfless activities of FIDA was the reason they have such cordial relationship with the First Lady.
Represented by a former Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State, Remi Olatubora, SAN, Chief Fagbemi commended the First Lady for her giant strides in making life worths living for the less privileged ones, through her initiatives, saying that her tenure ‘is remarkable’.
Analysing the effectiveness of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law since it was domesticated in the state, a Guest lecturer who doubles as the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Williams Akintoroye, said the Law remained a toothless bulldog until the stakeholders in justice delivery rose to the challenge of making use of it, appropriately, rather than charging sexual offenders under the criminal code act.
He called for a Sexual offender Register to be opened by the Ministry of Justice where names of culprits would be published with their pictures.
The event featured decoration of FIDA Patrons and Patronness, including state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and Her Excellency.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media(Office of the First Lady)
June 14, 2022