..lauds Idoani’s Church for prioritising members’ health by joining faith with science
..says it’s a template for other religious organisations to emulate
Barely 72hours of being recognized with a Golden Voice award by Female lawyers for her numerous impactful contributions to the society, the First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, was on Friday, honoured with a Grassroot Award of Excellence by the Holy Trinity Anglican Diocese of Idoani, Ose Local government area of the state.
The award, which was part of the 3rd Session of the 4th Synod of the church, was in recognition of her efforts at adding value to the lives of people, especially women and girls through her various initiatives.
Presenting the award to her, the Bishop of the Diocese, the RT. Rev. Adegoke Agara, said it was to honour her as a worthy mentor and role model; as he prayed that God should renew her strength to continue impacting lives.
Responding, Mrs Akeredolu lauded the determination of the Anglican church to prioritize the wellbeing of the congregants by partnering her NGO, Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, to bring breast cancer awareness to the doorstep of people in the community.
She described the honour as a divine instruction to do more, saying “and I will not stop. I will rather continue to preach the illustrious gospel so that more women can join the increasing league of breast cancer survivors in this part of the world”.
It would be recalled that, the Church organised breast cancer awareness and free screening exercise on Tuesday, in collaboration with BRECAN, as part of the activities for the 4th Synod.
The Ondo First Lady, therefore, noted that this step taken by the church to apply faith with science was a template for other religious organisations to emulate.
Her words: “This event is historic in the sense that it is adding a new page to the history of breast cancer fight in Nigeria. It is a novel and noble contribution that I consider as very profound and gratifying.
“It is profound because the church, in its wisdom, has chosen to lead an emerging vanguard with a different approach to faith. It is gratifying because the church, whose teachings of faith people often misapply to the extent that self-harm is preferred to taking rational decisions based on scientific facts, is set to draw the line between science and faith”.
Narrating how she survived the disease 25years ago, the BRECAN Founder, gave kudos to the Diocesan Bishop for not preaching to the congregants that breast cancer is a spiritual attack and discourage them from seeking medical attention.
She said: “This shows that the church of God prioritises the health of its members, particularly the womenfolk. It is a succinct expression of readiness by the church to put a stop to the prevalent dangerous doctrines that have encouraged needless death of cancer patients over the years.
“The new synergy initiated by the Anglican Diocese of Idoani with the Breast cancer Association of Nigeria under the Bishop Agara Adegoke, is the new page in the history of cancer fight”.
She informed the congregants that breast cancer is purely medical issue that is treatable if detected early, noting that to achieve this was why BRECAN took the advocacy upon itself to provide research, awareness and patient’s support, a gesture that had earned the association national and international recognitions.
She added that the sacrifice made by the church would not be a waste but would rather rescue many women from dying a needless death, saying, “That we cannot continue to feed religious and cultural sentiments to our own detriment is a statement already well made by the church”.
The Governor’s wife, while reacting to the Bishop’s charge, enjoined individuals to contribute their quotas to make Nigeria a better place to live, by making every sector function. She emphasised her unrelenting determination to advocate reasonable seats for women among the policymakers and to groom future female technological leaders through her BeMore initiative.
Earlier in his charge, Bishop Agara called for a change in leadership style being operated in Nigeria from selfishness and insensitivity to selflessness, in order for the country to experience desired development.
“We need leaders with will power who will not only identify and analyse our problems but will brace up to address them without any fear or favour”.
The Diocesan Bishop while commending the efforts of Ondo First Lady at improving the well-being of the vulnerable groups, testified to the advocacy zeal of BRECAN, which he had experienced while in Lagos State.
Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
July 15, 2022