Kogi Gubernatorial: Dr. Maryam Ogundepo Holds Empowerment Event in Okene, Advocates for Women’s Participation in Politics

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By Maymunah Zubair

Dr. Maryam Ogundepo, President/Founder, Achana Legacy Foundation

𝘖𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘦, 𝘒𝘰𝘨𝘪 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦 – 𝘕𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 3, 2023

Ahead of the Kogi State governorship election, an impactful empowerment and campaign event took place today in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State, emphasizing the crucial role of women in politics and their active participation in shaping the future of the state. Dr. Maryam J. A. Ogundepo, President and Founder of the Achana Legacy Foundation, delivered an inspiring speech at this gathering, where women from the five local government areas in Kogi Central Zone were duly represented.

The event which held to empower women as well as campaign for Alhaji Ahmed Usman-Ododo, APC Kogi State Gubernatorial Candidate, and was well attended by distinguished stakeholders, including Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman, Executive Chairman of the Kogi State Mineral Resources Development Agency, as well as State party stalwarts, leaders, and a diverse audience of women and men.

In her address, Dr. Maryam Ogundepo highlighted the significance of women’s involvement in politics and community development. She introduced the Achana Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization, and the Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Diaspora Network (WEND Network). The foundation and the affiliated network are dedicated to supporting underprivileged women and youth by providing immediate resources and vocational training to enable self-sufficiency.

Dr. Ogundepo emphasized the need for women to actively participate in politics and introduced the “10 x 10 x 10 1,000 Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Diaspora for Ododo Campaign.” This initiative’s primary goal is to empower women entrepreneurs and encourage their active participation in the upcoming Kogi State gubernatorial elections scheduled for November 11th, as well as in politics more broadly.

The empowerment initiative includes support for ten women from each local government area across various categories in its first cycle; ten women with established businesses will receive resources to enhance their ventures. New business owners will benefit from training in areas such as bakery and other vocational skills. Additionally, the initiative aims to promote financial responsibility by providing training to ten women in Point of Sale (POS) business and prompt business transactions in rural communities. Ultimately a total of 50 women were beneficiaries of cash injection for their varying trades and businesses.

The event was not limited to them alone, as over 400 other attendees received relief materials, including food items and fabrics. Expectant mothers were provided with prenatal vitamins to support healthy baby growth during pregnancy.

Dr. Maryam Ogundepo stressed the importance of ensuring diversity and inclusivity among beneficiaries. She expressed the foundation’s commitment to rolling out similar initiatives all across Kogi State to benefit a broad spectrum of the population.

The event serves as a launchpad for numerous strategies aimed at ensuring a successful women empowerment campaign. Other strategies include fundraising events and the creation of a robust database management system, among various online and offline content geared to drive engagement and support.

The Achana Legacy Foundation and WEND Network have established partnerships with multiple women groups in Nigeria and the Diaspora across different fields, including Mining, aviation, agribusiness, civil service, grassroots women, and market women associations, among others. These collaborations aim to create a lasting impact, supporting young men and women, as well as individuals with disabilities in society.

Dr. Maryam Ogundepo expressed confidence that, with the maximum support and encouragement of all stakeholders, this initiative will positively impact Alhaji Ahmed Usman-Ododo’s campaign and the lives of millions of women across Kogi State. She stated that the candidate would no doubt consolidate on the success of the incombent administration of Governor Yahaya Bello, and humbly invited all to join in the success of this endeavor for the betterment of the people and the state.