By Mary Amodu- Lokoja
The office of the first lady in Nigeria may not have attained the status of its counterparts in the US and other developed countries but it has become a prominent developmental institution in the country. This truism has been reiterated in various shapes and forms in Kogi state, by Mrs Rashida Bello, through her initiative, the Kogi Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation ( KWYEF).
She has demonstrated uncommon commitment to the health and well-being of the rural dwellers in the three Senatorial districts of the State by renovating and equipping Primary Healthcare Centres in Ekinrin Adde in Ijumu Local Government, Olamaboro from the East and Agassa in Okene from the Central.
Mrs Bello during the lunch of her pet foundation (KWYEF), empowered 42 women drawn from the 21 Local Government Areas. Items distributed were sowing machines, hair drier while the sum of 100 hundred thousand naira was presented to each participant as a start up capital.
She implored the beneficiaries to be prudent and diligent in the managing of the little resources available to them
“I urge you all to see the start up capital as seed”. She therefore promised to sustain the project throughout the administration of her husband.
This kind gesture was meant to complement her husband’s effort at eliminating extreme poverty from the state.
The mission according to the first lady Rashida Bello, is to ensure that Women and Youths have access to quality healthcare services and human empowerment.
She said that the infrastructures in the communities needed to be upgraded to ensure more effectiveness for the people.
Added that the administration of Gov Yahaya Bello will take adequate care of the needs of the people at the rural areas and also improved healthcare Centres because according to her, “health is Wealth”.
Speaking, The Oba of Iyamoye, HRH Oba Ibrahim and acting Chairman, Ijumu Local Goverment, Commended the First Lady for her initiative and commitments in bringing development to the people especially the women of Ijumu Kingdom.
Oba Ibrahim also added that the choice of Ekinrin- Adde as the take- off town was appreciated and pleaded that the privileges be extended to other towns of the Kingdom.
The Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, Dr. Odutola Remi, said” these healthcare centres will stand the test of time. Pregnant women and the sick will not need to go a long distance before getting treatment”.
Odutola who was represented by the Vice Chairman Dayo Akomonde, expressed gratitude to Governor Yahaya Bello and prayed for his success as he leads Kogi State to greater heights.
The Chairman of Olamaboro Local Government, Hon Farouq Adejoh, stated that His Excellency and his Lieutenants have the desired blueprints that will reposition the State via the provision of social amenities.
“It is worthwhile to State that Her Excellency’s working visit is perhaps one of her first notable official assignments in support of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello” he added
The Emonyokwu community leader in Olamaboro, Comrade Emmanuel Ameh, commended the zeal of His Excellency to be an agent of change in Kogi State in less than 100 days in office, according to him, the records of achievement are all ready being created.
He also appealed to his Excellency to attend to some of the urgent needs of the Ogugu people in general,
“Ogugu was neglected for 13years just because we seek for change, we have not had electricity in the last ten years and also no good road” the perpetual lack of electricity has greatly hindered the development of our land and Kogi State in general” he said.
The Chairman Okene Local Government, Mall Muhammed Sadiq expressed delight in the gesture demonstrated by the present administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello to ameliorate the suffering of rural dwellers by giving them a befitting healthcare Centre
“We promise to remain resolute and supportive to the present administration in his quest to put Kogi in its right place in Nigeria “.
He also appealed ” like Oliver twist, we passionately appeal for more government attention in some other sectors like roads, portable water and ailing educational sector in the State” he said.