From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Wife of the Ondo State governor, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu has disclosed that she was a breast cancer survivor of 20 years and called for improved funding for cancer treatment in Nigeria.
Mrs. Akeredolu made this disclosure in her presentation at the fifth quarterly meeting of the Southern Governors’ Wives Forum, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The Forum which was attended by 14 First Ladies, also urged women to engage in agriculture and entrepreneurship for self-sufficiency.
The governors’ wives, who had an interactive session with women groups at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, spoke on issues ranging from health, family, entrepreneurship, agriculture and education, among others.
They equally stressed the need for women to always support their husbands in discharging their responsibilities, particularly at the home front and the society in general.
But in her presentation, Mrs. Akeredolu, who recalled how she battled with breast cancer, however, decried the dearth of infrastructures and facilities to fight cancer noting “none of the seven cancer centres in the country is currently functioning”.
She, therefore, charged Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to lobby houses of assembly in their states of residence to appropriate funds for cancer control.
“Cancer is a disease that progresses in time and in stages. For you to control this disease, you must have fund. I can tell you that cancer is increasingly affecting our women, especially breast and cervical cancer.
“As I stand before you now, there are seven cancer centres in the country and none is functioning. Cancer patients are going through hell in this country. We don’t have to wait for the Federal Government.
“As state governments, we can begin plans for cancer control. We should put the health of our people first. We should increase awareness about the disease. Also, equipment and machines like mammography should be in our various state hospitals.” She stated.
Governors’ wives in in attendance included Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha (Imo), Mrs. Olufunso Amosun (Ogun), Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola (Osun), Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu (Abia), Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Mrs. Osodieme Obiano (Anambra).
Others were Dr. Linda Ayade (Cross River), Mrs. Edith Okowa (Delta), Mrs. Rachael Umahi (Ebonyi), Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose (Ekiti), Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (Lagos), Mrs. Betty Akeredolu (Ondo) and Mrs. Florence Ajimobi (Oyo).
Meanwhile, Dr .Rachael Dickson, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki and Justice Eberechi Nyesom-Wike of Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers states respectively were not at the meeting.
Earlier in her address, the chairperson of SGWF, Mrs. Okorocha, said the forum was the brainchild of wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari adding it was established to equip women materially, mentally, socially and economically.
She noted that the forum had helped to foster unity and cooperation among the states.
The governors’ wives who had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the office of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, later distributed empowerment items such as grinding machines, sewing machines, dryers, generators, among others to women in the state.