*Even Nduka Odizor gives her 5-star rating
By Oluwole Francis, Akure
Two former world beaters in sports Chief Mary Onyali and Rolake Olagbegi-Kasim have singled out the First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, for special commendation for the great efforts she has invested in the future of young, entrepreneurial girls in her state, Ondo especially on the Solar4Girls initiative.
The former African sprint queen and the former tennis maestro were guests at the closing ceremony of the ‘Solar4Girls Naija’ for Senior Secondary School Students at Elizade University, Ilara Mokin,
It was a massive funfare and display of exceptional brilliance by the girls who had participated in the two-week old learning curve. The girls exhibited high quality speaking engagements and praised the First Lady for offering them new avenues to learn creative structures that will make them be able to stand tall, economically independent and intellectually competitive.
Olagbegi-Kasim reiterated the need for individuals, stakeholders and government to take steps and make the needed change in the society. She begged the corporate world to appreciate the social impact of what Mrs Akeredolu is doing with this initiative and stand up massively to support, identify with her and expand the scope of the project. No child will participate in this and remain the same.
Former Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye, who was also present at the event spoke so highly of the “many outstanding activities of Arabinrin (Mrs Akeredolu). From her Breast Cancer campaigns, support structure for widows, to the Solar4Girls Naija, to the tennis clinic and several more. If every First Lady in the country can do half of these, then, I will swear that our nation will arrive in her development destination in good time. For us in Ondo state, we are cruising to the future on turbo.”
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a 5-day training programming put together by the Office of the Wife of the Governor in conjunction with Ashdam Initiative, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, stated that she got interested in renewable energy as a result of the present day reality in Nigeria where there is no electricity supply and the oil wells have been over exhausted.
Over 200 participating students, were trained on how to build solar panels. They got other life enhancing skills from the other collaborating NGOs involved in the programme. They were trained on Energy Management, Green Energy Sources, Climate Change Awareness, Building of Solar Panels, Life Enhancing Skills, Sanitation and Menstrual Hygiene among others.
The Chief Operating Officer of Ashdam Solar Limited, Mrs. Damilola Ashaleye affirmed that the training programme is a dream-come true. She told www.gongnews.net that, “the girls got a rare opportunity to impact their world. We trained the girls to be able to have an impact on the social environment. We did this to encourage them to join us because this field is no longer for the men. We are ultimately hoping to attain gender equality in this field.
“We decided to do solar training because our climate is actually changing; the temperature is getting higher and the solution is renewable energy. The amount of solar that reaches the earth is more than enough to power the whole world
“These girls from now can install solar panels, assemble it and build solar ovens by themselves”, she further stressed.
Mrs. Adesokan further observed that once a girl child is empowered, there is no limit to what she can achieve.
Later in the evening, Mrs Akeredolu hosted the Solar4Girls Naija participants and the guests attending a tennis clinic she is also putting together. Some of the guests at the event included former tennis prodigy, Nduka ‘The Duke’ Odizor, the Director General of Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) Mr Olajide Fashikun.
Nduka Odizor at the dinner said, “I am honestly impressed with the quality of activities the First Lady is putting together in the state. I am amazed. She is an angel sent to her husband. This is outstanding and very commendable. Even the ordinary citizens on the streets of Akure freely make very sound, positive comments about her. They even said she is so easy going, approachable and act at all times as a mother to them. This is very great. I am so proud to be associated with her in my own little ways.”
Speaking on the tennis clinic, he said, “with a great former champion like Rolake, she brought in speed queen Mary Onyali. This is a great vision into the future. I am also happy that the state brought out their children to participate. I can guarantee you that in some quick years to come, some of these kids will be world beaters. That is when the impact of what she is doing now will make sense but in all, Mrs Akeredolu takes my doff of the hat.”