Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade recently led a group of prominent men and women within and outside the state capital to campaign for the rights of the girl child. The occasion was the Women’s Day celebration by members of the South-East Yagba Development Association (SEYDA) held in Oranre, a community in Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State.
SEYDA equally used the occasion to launch its N50 million community developments and Educational Enhancement Fund. Hundreds of South East Yagba indigenes from different communities in Kogi State and beyond converged on Oranre to celebrate the historic event.
The event brought together members of the community in Nigeria and the Diaspora, especially those based in Lokoja and its environs. They were joined by other well-wishers and tourists from far and wide.
Dignitaries at the event include a member of the state House of Assembly, Musa Jimoh Omiata, Administrator of Yagba East LGA, Rasaq Ijagbemi Ashiru; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Bolanle Amupitan (special guest of honour); Olukotun of Ife-Olukotun, Oba Mohammed Shuaib (royal father of the day); Oba of Oranre, Oba Aliu Olusegun (Chief Host); Leader, South East Yagba, Chief Sunmonu Asani (grand patron SEYDA/SEYDAW); matron SEYDAW, V.F. Awomolo (SAN); Chairman of SEYDA, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye; Yeye Oba of Ogbom, Olori M. B. Orebiyi, as well as host and president, SEYDAW, Chief Ebunolomo Joel, among others.
Also in attendance were Alhaji Isiaq Ajibola, Hon Toba Adebayo, Mrs. Olamide Adesoro and a philanthropist, Elder Leke Abejide. From the scores of colourful cultural attire of the indigenes, to the gaily display by dancers from the various groups, the audience was treated to hours of raw African culture.
The annual celebration serves as an avenue for Oranre women from far and near to celebrate themselves, discuss key issues affecting the development of the girl-child in the community and provide solution to the immediate needs of women in the community.
The women leader and president of South-East Yagba Development Association(SEYDA), women wing, Mrs. Ebun Joel described SEYDA as a voluntary, non-political, non-religious, non-governmental and non-profit group, describing it as a socio-cultural group made up of all interested women in the district either by birth or by marriage.
She added that the association which was established in 2001 was basically tailored at rendering humanitarian services with particular emphasis on supporting women and girl-child in the community. The body, she noted, became a wing of the main body of SEYDA few years ago.
She said SEYDA has carried out a lot of developmental programme in the district ranging from payment of WAEC fees for the girls, provision of school materials, hospital equipment, sensitization of the populace on HIV as well as creating a second chance for teenage or young mothers to access new opportunities that could improve their lives.
She appealed to the state government to work on the bad roads in Yagba, enhance security across the community and help turn around the education sector.
In his message, Governor Yahaya Bello said the state government was particularly concerned about the education of the girl child.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade, enjoined the people of the community to be proactive to the development of the land by cherishing and promoting their cultural heritage; just as he urged the women not to relent in their efforts at bringing development to the community.
Earlier in his remark, the chief host, Hon. Musa Jimoh Omaita of the Kogi State House of Assembly, thanked the women for their efforts on the women and on girl-child education. He assured the women that the government of the day was determined to achieve its promises, adding that all ongoing projects that were temporary suspended would soon be revisited for completion.
In his goodwill message, chairman, South-East Yagba Development Association, Ambassador, Sola Enikanolaiye noted that the occasion was significant for creating a platform for projecting the unity, vision and strong commitment of the women to the advancement of peace and development agenda of the East-Yagba (Oke-Oyi) district.
While congratulating the executive council of the women wing, he promised the group the unflinching support of the umbrella body under his leadership.
Highlight of the occasion was the launch ofthe N50 million educational endowment funds,health walk, a lecture delivered by Mrs. F.G Fagbemi with the theme: “Be independent, Get empowered”, cultural dance, and presentation of investiture certificate to some notable sons and daughter of SEYDA amongst others.