..I’m convinced it’s a positive thing, Founder should fashion out how to sustain it- Sen. Olajumoke
..we’re not going back on sponsoring our girls- OSOPADEC
Stakeholders have advocated the sustainability of the BeMore Summer Bootcamp 4girlsnaija, an initiative of the Wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, beyond her tenure as they described the initiative as too impactful a project to die with this administration.
They expressed their concerns about its continuity in Ondo State during the opening ceremony of the 2022 edition, held at Mabest Academy Akure, where over 350 are camped for the two weeks training in ICT, Solar technology and other life-enhancing skills
The chairman of the occasion, Chief Olusola Oke (SAN), noted that the BeMore initiative had come to fill the gap in educational sector, by laying a solid foundation to build capacity of girls and make them compete with their contemporaries in any part of the world.
According to him, much efforts were concentrated on producing graduates, with a gap in technical capacity building aspect of education.
Appreciating the First Lady for the initiative, Chief Oke affirmed that it had elevated Ondo State to the national agenda, saying “it has given the State a pride of place in the comity of states in Nigeria.
“You are building extra ordinary ladies, at the end of the day we would have girls who would be so endowed and empowered.
“The ICT is ruling the world today, solar is the next option for energy generation, these critical aspects of our lives are what Her Excellency has factored out in this program.
” Every nation in the world is moving towards clean energy, solar is the answer. I am very sure that the capacity that is being built today will find its bearing to that direction of the world”.
He advocated institutionalization of the initiative in Ondo State, by making it a permanent feature of education system.
“Whatever we can do to make sure that after the expiration of the tenure of Her Excellency in Ondo state, BeMore will continue to be part of our education, we should do it”.
In his goodwill message, one of the sponsors of girls for the program, Sen. Bode Olajumoke, averred that only a few number of people did what the First Lady is doing, saying, ” I’m convinced that it’s a positive thing”.
Sen. Olajumoke who announced that he was still an active member of the People’s Democratic Party, discarded insinuations in some quarters challenging his contribution to the First Lady’s project, stating that “I encourage positive initiatives, I have no doubt about what Arabirin has started, it’s a good one. I saw the demonstration and testimonies of these girls in Imeri, and I had teary eyes when I heard the skills they acquired and the experiences they garnered at the bootcamp.
“Like I said, people are asking why am I doing this? But I’m a solid man, I didn’t join politics because of anybody, I joined out of my conviction to improve my environment” he said.
The elderstateman, however, expressed concern about the continuity of the initiative beyond Governor Akeredolu’s tenure, and enjoined the Founder to fashion out a way to sustain the program with the assurance that people of like-minds would be ready to support its sustainability.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, OSOPADEC, Dr. Koledoye, described the program as a great vision, hence, the reason the commission keyed into it since 2017.
He affirned that sponsoring of girls from OSOPADEC mandate areas for the program had become one of the star projects of the commission.
He said: “every year we have not less than a hundred of our girls that attend this program; currently we have about 140 girls from OSOPADEC attending this year, we are so glad because the feedback from the communities tells us what actually the impacts of this program is. We want to thank Her Excellency and our hope is that this program is going to be sustainable beyond her tenure.
“I can assure you that we at OSOPADEC we are not going back on this project, we are not going back on sponsoring our girls for this program.
“we are in 100s now but what we are going after is that we want to get to about 500 girls for each of the Bemore program every year”, he hinted.
Also speaking, the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu, who confessed that the Founder was exceptional out of all First Ladies she’d known in Ondo State, affirmed that Bemore initiative was a way to convince femalefolks that they can be more than what the society says they are.
She enjoined the menfolk to give women platform to show their potentials and give them wings to fly which Her Excellency is giving women through the BeMore initiative.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Prof. Adenike Oladiji, expressed happiness to be associated with Bemore while pleading to individuals to contribute their quota in supporting the female gender to expore her potential.
“We ask for more opportunities and listening ears, because we can be more than what we are. FUTA crave for more of these ladies in our campus and you will see that what Arabirin is doing is actually for our benefits”, she said.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale, the State’s APC Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, the State Commissioners for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, for Information, Mrs. Bamidele-Olateju, for Energy and Mines, Engr Razak Obe, for Women Affairs, Dr. Mrs Bunmi Osadahun, for Commerce, Mrs Fagbemi, for Agriculture, Mr. Olayato Aribo, for Youths and Sport, Dele Ologun, the Director General of PPIMU, Engr. Babajide Akeredolu, the Special Advisers on Transport, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye, on Education, Mrs. Wunmi Ilawole, the APC Candidate for Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency, Mr Jimi Odimayo amongst others.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
August 22, 2022.