| credits: Punch
Veteran actress, Idowu Philips, popularly called Mama Rainbow, and dignitaries from all walks of life rallied round the member representing Ijebu Ode/ Odogbolu/Ijebu East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Kehinde Odeneye, on Saturday, at the graduation ceremony of the youths that participated in his empowerment programme.
It was a mini carnival at the Ogbogbo Baptist Primary School ground, where the programme was held. On hand to entertain guests was juju music singer, Kayode Balogun, who incessantly sang the praise of the dignitaries.
With the 500 graduating youths and some adults marching forward to demonstrate the skills they have acquired, while also receiving tools and materials to start business, Iya Rainbow and other speakers commended Odeneye for the gesture. The beneficiaries, some of who expressed appreciation to the lawmaker, had acquired skills in tailoring, hairdressing and barbing.
For Iya Rainbow, it was not a day to do much acting, but commend Odeneye, who she described as being committed to the development of his community.
“I am using this medium to plead with the people in power to emulate him. It is a way to reduce employment in our society,” she said.
The Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Prince Segun Adelegan, who presented the tools that included sewing machines, dryers, clippers and generators to the participants, commended the legislator for undertaking the project.
Among the beneficiaries that spoke at the event, 34-year-old Ajayi Olayinka said she was happy that it was meant for all the people that needed it, as the participants were not selected on political sentiment. She was pleased that she could now combine tailoring with the shop she had been operating before. Interestingly, an Ebonyi indigene, James Uzoamaka, was among the beneficiaries.
In his welcome address, Odeneye saluted the leaders of his party, Action Congress of Nigeria, especially those present. According to him, the event was not just for him to give account of his stewardship, but to also deliver part of what he called dividends of democracy he promised while campaigning.
Recalling how he inaugurated the project in June 2001, he said, “I sincerely appreciate the mandate given to me to represent all of you at the National Assembly. Your continual support, constant prayers and ever-flowing advice have really made this journey worthwhile.”
He highlighted programmes in his empowerment project to include those bordering on health care, women empowerment, distribution of books to pupils, construction of blocks of classrooms, water supply and provision of transformers and solar-powered street lights.
The Oru of Imoru, Oba Bashorun Adeposi, who was the ‘Royal Father of the Day’, led other traditional rulers in identifying with the programme.
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