In Ondo state, the Foundation of wives of Ondo State Officials, FOWOSO is a platform that brings women together from the eighteen local governments to brainstorm on inclusion, economic empowerment among others.
The foundation established by the wife of Ondo state governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu had its 3rd summit this year in Akure.
Radio Nigeria correspondent, Olufisoye Adenitan finds out if the foundation is actualising its purpose or a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Despite the fact that the constitution does not recognise the office of the wife of the governor, most governors’ wives have pet projects and various programs implemented through offices of the wives of the governors.
Many a time these projects gulp millions of naira of taxpayers’ money.
The FOWOSO programme hyped to be a forum for women empowerment also turned out to be a social gathering characterized by the usual Aso Ebi and dancing jamboree.
Financial implication for women attending the event
20 representatives of women each from the eighteen local government were sponsored by the councils for day one of the event while about one hundred women came for the day two event from each council area.
Radio Nigeria finds out the financial implication for those women that attended the event as fifty thousand per participant were paid by the local government.
Some other women who spoke of the benefits of the programme said they benefited from foodstuffs, Ankara fabrics among others.
The question now is if FOWOSO had actually fulfilled its purpose considering the state of the economy which had affected negatively the implementation of capital projects as well as the payment of salaries among others.
The chairman of the 3rd FOWOSO summit, a Retired Major, Mrs Morenike Alaka during visits to media houses had insisted that the programme was empowering women for sustainable development and inclusion.
Though the 3rd FOWOSO summit has come and gone, analysts however said genuine and purposeful leadership was still needed to bring women out of poverty with adequate inclusion rather than the usual jamborees of dancing, singing and Aso Ebi often associated with women in political space.
According to them, To achieve economic empowerment for women, political leaders and their spouses should have more sincerity of purpose in programme implementation rather than using their offices to amass the commonwealth of the people.
Reporting by Olufisoye Adenitan; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino