Opinion

Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu: The 1st of her kinds ‘Down to Earth’ First Lady

When we hear of ‘First Lady’, either wife of the governor or the President, we often have one kind of enthusiasm having someone of that calibre in our vicinity. Everyone around would troop out to use the opportunity to have a glimpse of her. This is because they are assumed to be secluded, over-guided and inaccessible.

Most of these ‘First Ladies’ are unconscious of what is going on around them, especially among their workers. Just a few workers attached to their office have access to them, while others relate with them from distance.

Some don’t recognize most of their intimate workers facially, let alone by name, whereas they are always around to offer one kind of service or the other to promote the activities of the First Lady.

Mrs. Akeredolu’s case is far different from the above-mentioned group of First Ladies. And that is why verbal attacks keep coming against her on social media platforms for being pragmatic.

Nigerian society seems to be used to the archaic way of doing things and people are not ready to adjust to change. As a human right activist, Mrs. Akeredolu definitely possesses the spirit of activism in her.

Activists are known to be factual, realistic, and no-nonsense individuals. And for the fact that Mrs. Akeredolu is the wife of the number one citizen of Ondo state, many want her to drop activism and change her personality so that things would continue to be as it was in the days of her predecessors.

Mrs. Akeredolu in a group photograph with her media team

What this simply means is that, they expect her to start behaving like typical Nigerian First Ladies who allow the office to influence their real personality, and turned them to goddesses before the governed.

Must we continue to act the same old way and expect new change? Truth is bitter, yes, and the righteous are not appreciated in the society, but if we must progress, our orientations must change.

Today, to the amazement of journalists attached to the office of Mrs. Akeredolu, she had an interactive session with them.

Some panicked as to what could have prompted such meeting; when she started addressing them, it was like a lecturing moment. The ‘First Lady’ took them back to journalism class and reminded them of the ethics of the profession, starting with plagiarism and credibility. It didn’t end there, she had a one-on-one encounter with each of the journalist and the media organisation they represent.

This action was borne out of the fact that she does take her time to read and monitor every report that emanates from her office; and having discovered that some journalists do copy other colleagues’ work without attributing it to the writer, she chose to interact with them and correct the attitude.

This is an unusual attention from a First Lady to her workers. It also shows her zero tolerance for injustice and corrupt practices.

This down to earth attitude of her is also demonstrated in the ways and manner in which she discovered talents through social media, and sent for them. Little wonder she was nick-named MAMA DIGITAL.

For a woman who is far above 60years of age to be active and take cognizance of her immediate environment, she deserves accolades rather than condemnation.

Some of the journalists, including other members of her team were invited directly by her, having discovered their competency through social media platforms. This is rare.

The Arabinrin Akeredolu that I know is objective, factual, an Apostle of realism. Her kinds are scarce. They can’t be manipulated. A woman that always allow fair-hearing.

She appreciates professionalism, and detests partiality. If you are fervent, proficient and vibrant, she would warmly give you due recognition without bothering about religion or tribe.

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