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Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday, commended Southern Governors’ Wives Forum for its fight against gender-based violence in Nigeria.
Okowa gave the commendation when he received members of the Forum, led by their President and wife of Governor of Osun State, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, who visited him at Government House, Asaba.
Others on the delegation were the host and wife of Delta Governor, Dame Edith Okowa; Mrs Bisi Fayemi, Ekiti; Dr Martha Udom, Akwa-Ibom and Dr Gloria Diri of Bayelsa.
Also on the delegation were Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, Abia; Dr Linda Ayade, Cross-River; Mrs Betsy Obaseki, Edo; Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, Enugu; Mrs Olufunke Makinde, Oyo and Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, Ogun.
Okowa said that the governor’s wives played very important roles in supporting their husbands in the various states and urged them to remain united for the good of the nation.
He particularly commended the governors’ wives for their various programmes geared towards enhancing the living standards of the people.
“I am glad that you are meeting and have decided to work together beyond boundaries to make life better for all Nigerians, particularly for the girl-child and the women.
“I am also very happy that you have decided to come together to fight gender-based violence in the country as it affects girl-child and women.
“More importantly, women as first ladies have continued to mobilise forces to support their husbands in their various states for the overall good of the country,” he said.
He commended the 05-Initiative of his wife, which had consistently contributed to enhancing the life and well-being of women and children particularly those with sickle cell anaemia in the state.
According to the governor, a lot of resources have been mobilised by the 05-Initiative to better the lives of Deltans and I must thank her immensely for her drive.
He urged the women to continue to support their husbands in prayers, adding “most times we find ourselves so busy that we don’t have time to pray; so, as wives of governors, you should just continue to support your husbands in prayers.
“Gone are the days when women took the back seat in governance because they have a lot to offer.
“Women have their ears to the ground, and, therefore, there are things that you may hear that your husbands would not hear so it is important that you continue to support them for the good of the nation.
“It is my prayer that God will continue to keep this forum together for a united Nigeria
“We are glad to receive you in Delta and we pray that God will continue to keep this association to keep our Nigerian nation bonded because I believe in a united Nigeria.
“We must begin to think united Nigeria because we cannot do without a united Nigeria and only in unity that we can achieve a better Nigeria,” the governor stated.
Earlier, Mrs Oyetola had said that the women were in Delta for the inaugural meeting of the forum and thanked Governor Okowa and his wife for hosting the forum.
She lauded the governor for the various people-oriented programmes in the state, particularly the 799 roads spanning 1,577.8 kilometres and 908.8 kilometres of drainage channels and the Asaba storm water drainage which had made life meaningful for Deltans.
Oyetola said that the group was collectively engaged in the fight against gender-based violence, and disclosed that a lot of success had been recorded in that regard.
“As first ladies in our various states, we have our various programmes geared towards making life better for the people of our states.
“However, as a group we saw that there was an increase in gender-based violence in the country and we decided to come together to fight and I can tell you that we have recorded a lot of success,” she added.