First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi has been named First Lady of the Year (National), by the Independent Newspapers in association with African Consolidated Analytical Limited (ACAL), in the Independent Nigerian First Ladies Impact Awards, which took place in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.
This was disclosed to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital on Wednesday, October 20, by the Senior Special Assistant to the First Lady on Media and Public Affairs, Mrs Funmi Ajala.
Representing the First Lady of Ekiti State at the event was Dr Mrs Adebola Adetumbi (Wife of Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi, Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District) and Mrs Oluwakemi Fatoba (Wife of Honourable Sola Fatoba, Member House of Representatives).
Responding on behalf of the Ekiti First Lady, Dr Mrs Adetumbi thanked the organisers for the recognition and stressed the importance of women empowerment in the country.
“When you empower women and allow them to utilize their full potential, you build a forward growing society. Despite the many obstacles in their way, Nigerian women have demonstrated that they are knowledgeable, capable and experienced leaders at all levels in the political, professional, business, public and academic sectors,” Adetumbi said.
She also called for the enactment of laws and policies for inclusion and non-discrimination to safeguard the interests of women, like what exists in Ekiti State thanks to the efforts of Erelu Fayemi, urging full and adequate implementation of such laws where they exist.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief, Independent Newspaper Limited, Mr Steve Omanufeme said even though the First Ladies do not have any constitutional duty to do what many of them are doing, yet they are working assiduously using their position to change the narratives and shape the destinies of families, women, children, widows, the motherless in their various domain. He said they should be celebrated for this reason.
“The success stories of First Ladies in Nigeria should be publicly recognized so that they become role models and mentors for future generations of Nigerian women,” Omanufeme added.
Explaining the process of selection for the awards, he said the Awards Review Panel, representing men and women in different industries, did the selection adding, ‘The process, therefore, remains 100% independent. Consistent with all independent Newspapers awards, the Nigerian First Ladies Impact Awards are fully on merit.”
The First Ladies were assessed in several awards categories including Widows’ Empowerment, Political Participation, Children and Youth, Less Privileged, People Living with Disabilities and Community Projects.
Of these categories, Erelu Bisi Fayemi won in two, namely: Independent First Lady of the Year (National), First Lady of the Year (South-West) in Women Political Empowerment.
Other State First Ladies honoured include First Lady of Bauchi State, Aishatu Bala Muhammed; First Lady Kwara State, Ambassador, Dr Olufolake Abdulrazaq, First Lady Osun State Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, First Lady of Cross River State, Dr Linda Ayade and First Lady of Taraba State, Barrister Anna Ishaku.
We at Ekiti Summit celebrate one of the world’s finest leaders, a feminist, activist, writer and policy advocate, philanthropist and the First Lady of Ekiti State of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi who has emerged winner of the impressive Ekiti Summit Newspaper Personality of the Year 2020.