Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has explained why his Ekiti State counterpart, John Kayode Fayemi, was absent during the visit of the Southwest governors to the residence of the former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Led by their chairman, Arakunrin Akeredolu, the governors had on Tuesday visited Asiwaju Tinubu at his Bourdilon-Ikoyi residence, Lagos State, on a courtesy visit since his return to the country.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said Fayemi was with them at the Southwest Governors’ Forum meeting held earlier at Lagos House, Marina, but had to leave to catch a late flight to Port Harcourt where he was a guest speaker at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference dinner.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Akeredolu, Richard Olatunde, noted that Governor Akeredolu’s clarification on Fayemi’s absence during the visit became necessary due to various insinuations and reactions in the media.
According to the statement, “Governor Fayemi was with us at the Southwest Governors’ Forum meeting held earlier at the Lagos House in Marina. He had to leave to catch a late flight to Port Harcourt where he was billed to attend the NBA Conference dinner.
He explained that ,“He sent his apology to Asiwaju as well as his good wishes. The rest of us who visited Asiwaju’s residence tendered same and extended Fayemi’s good wishes.”
Governor Akeredolu said the visit was to show their love for the former Lagos State governor and wish him well after his return to the country from London.
Meanwhile, Akeredolu, has charged women in the country to embrace politics beyond the jamboree associated with their presence, which is usually singing and dancing at political functions.
Governor Akeredolu said the country is faced with various issues including socio-economic challenges which also require the intervention of Nigerian women.
While pointing that the country is at a cross road, Arakunrin Akeredolu also called on women to fashion out specific ways of intervening in the worrisome security situation in the country, adding that the first set of mass kidnap in the nation was the Chibok girls in 2014.
“Our country today is at a cross road.
One thing appears missing to me in our conversation here. It is the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.
“Insecurity is limiting our National development. Insecurity is the cause of the poverty you are addressing today. With insecurity, governance is zero.
“We should look at specific ways women can intervene to change the narrative. Women are being kidnapped. The first set of mass kidnap in the country are Chibok girls. We are here to change the world. I can assure you as women that you can change the world”, he said.
Governor Akeredolu who delivered the keynote address and declared the conference open as the Special Guest of Honour enjoined the wives of elected and appointed officials to use the rare privilege they have to influence their husbands in making favorable policies for women.
He explained that the quality of the participation and favorable policies will go a long way in determining the growth of women in the society.
The Governor urged that it is time to shift focus to the training of the girl child so as to meet the yearnings for gender-parity in the society.
His words: “We must do more than what we were doing before. We must stop the obnoxious practice which limit the potential of the girl-child. We must resist the attempt by those who crave perpetual domination.
“You must work on the curriculum of our education. Our women must feel that their gender is free. We must not limit their freedom. I can see women savaging this country. Being wives of elected or appointed political office holders is not enough. I believe that it is salutary to have spouses who are very supportive of their husbands in many ways.”
Governor Akeredolu who called on women to always support one another, said: “It has been discovered that women are enemies of themselves.
“Be light to other women. It has become imperative that wives of political office holders must be pillars of support. Do not compromise the integrity of your husband.”