Kwara State First Lady, Olufolake Abdulrazak, yesterday announced that the experience and expertise of the former Ekiti State First Lady, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, BAF, was still needed to consolidate on the achievements of the former Chairperson of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum.
She made this disclosure while speaking on behalf of the Forum at an event themed “Sisterhood Across Borders” in honour of the leadership journey of the wife of the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who just turned 60.
The event held at the Civic Centre on Saturday in Lagos was to celebrate her support for women across borders.
Leading her contemporaries in other states to shower her with encomiums, Olufolake said that Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the wife of the erstwhile Governor of Ekiti State led an eventful and very impactful life.
According to the First Ladies, “Your Excellency’s life of service to people of Ekiti State through Ekiti Development Foundation has continued to inspire all current generations of leaders of our dear country and indeed Africa.”
She was described as a champion of many impactful initiatives, adding that Erelu contributions to development and empowerment of women is indeed laudable.
Singing her praises, Olufolake said, “Working together at the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum, Erelu brought her experience and expertise to bare with masterful lucidity. A mobiliser of repute, her tenure as chairperson of Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum heralded a significant development and enviable strides were recorded, impacted with the outbreak at the COVID-19 pandemic, we went through the drive and we made sure there were real advocacies for gender-based violence because of the incidences at that time and everybody saw what we were doing.”
They expressed gratitude and pride over her immense contributions, and they pledge to consolidate on her successes and achievements.
Olufolake continued, “We share this joy and unanimously enjoin you as the Chairperson’ Forum Board of Trusteeship Council.
Priscillia Usibafo, Executive Director, Brave Heart Initiative encouraged everyone in attendance to emulate qualities of the Erelu, because of her exemplary sisterhood.
According to the mentee of Erelu Bisi Fayemi who was a member of Organising Committee for BAF at 60 Conference, she urged, “Women should begin to support themselves, older women should support younger women, younger women should share ideas with older people because as more women work together in unity in embracing our diversity, we can advance not just Nigeria but the world at large.
Also, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Senate President and Founding Executive Director of African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, in his words, “Collaboration, networking among women and even men is critical to dealing with issue of gender equality and women empowerment, because historically, women have been subjected to discrimination, oppression and exclusion from governance development and no sane human being can really ignore 50 per cent of humanity. The collective wisdom in the world today is that it is foolishness and harmful to society to ignore discriminate or exclude women from governance and development. It is not in favour to ignore women and so the sisterhood movement with the support of men indeed for She is crucial in today’s world to ensure that we bring development, we bring peace, progress to the community, by bringing creative potentials of women to bare in the development process and we are all here to celebrate Bisi Erelu Fayemi of the role she has played for facilitating these issues of gender equality.
The coordinator of BAF at 60 event, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Founder of a women’s rights group, the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC, in a welcome address was full of accolades for BAF mentoship and leadership qualities.
She eulogised her for sterling qualities of unity, compassion and connection.
According to Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi, the event was organised to share experiences with the ‘sisterhood’, with others from African countries and across the world, and advocates for society building.
While welcoming the guests, WARDC Founder said, “In a world that is often divided by boundaries, both physical and metaphorical, it is critical to come together and acknowledge the strength and unity of our strong sisterhood across borders.
“Today, we celebrate our unbreakable bond that transcends nationalities and cultures. In the face of adversity, our sheer humanity unites us all. Sisterhood at its core embodies the spirit of empathy, support and empowerment.
She enjoined women to be resilient and rise beyond prejudice and discrimination.
Those present at the event include Pauline Tallen, Jeannette Pratt Eno, from Sierra Leone, Gertrude Anoh-Quashi, Director of operations, Africa Women’s Development Fund, Ghana, Sarah Mukasa, Director, Women’s Right Division Open Society Foundation -Africa, Taaka Awori, Board chair, African Women’s Development Fund and Professor Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-president, International Engagement and Service