By Babatunde Adewole
Today, we celebrate the 51st birthday of Mrs Tamunominini Olufunke Makinde, the esteemed wife of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde. Mrs Makinde is a distinguished personality who has emerged as a beacon of hope and catalyst for change, dedicating herself to uplifting the girl child, empowering women, tackling societal issues such as female genital mutilation, supporting the less privileged, and addressing violence against women. As we honour her on this special occasion, we acknowledge and appreciate her tireless efforts to create a more equitable, inclusive, and progressive society in Oyo state.
It’s evident today that Her Excellency, Mrs Makinde identified that investing in the education and empowerment of the girl child are important for the advancement of our society. Little did we know, she is championing initiatives to ensure that girls in the state are equiped for better tomorrow. By implementing mentorship initiatives, and advocating for policies that promote girls’ education, she has been instrumental in breaking down barriers and empowering young girls to realize their full potential.
In her bid towards ensuring women empowerment and gender equality in the state, Her Excellency has been at the forefront of promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality in the State. She has spearheaded various initiatives across the 33 local government areas of the state, aimed at equipping thousands women with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to thrive economically and socially. Through different entrepreneurship programs, vocational training, and regular financial support for women-led businesses, Mrs. Makinde has created opportunities for women to become financially independent and contribute to the overall development of the state.
One cannot but also mention her impact in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Recognizing the harmful effects of female genital mutilation on the physical and mental well-being of girls and women, Mrs. Makinde has been a very loud advocate against this practice. She has regularly collaborated with local communities, religious leaders, and healthcare professionals to raise awareness about the dangers of FGM and promote alternative rites of passage that uphold the dignity and rights of girls. Her efforts have contributed significantly to reducing the prevalence of FGM in Oyo state, safeguarding the health and rights of thousands of innocent girls and women.
Mrs. Makinde’s compassion also extends to the less privileged members of society. Her recent visit to some selected orphanage homes in the State capital during what was tagged: “2023 love intervention by Her Excellency, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde” is another testament of her willingness to kindness to the less privileged.
She has established programs to provide essential support, including healthcare services, educational resources, hygiene materials and social welfare assistance, to vulnerable individuals and families. Through these initiatives, she has enhanced the lives of the less privileged, making sure that they are not left behind and also have equal access to opportunities for growth and development.
Today, Mrs Makinde has been unwavering in her commitment to eradicating violence against women in Oyo State. She has actively supported campaigns, led a rally of women from different walks of life against sexual and gender-based violence. She has supported policies aimed at raising awareness, providing safe spaces, and offering support services to survivors of gender-based violence. By amplifying the voices of victims and advocating for legal and societal changes, she has worked towards creating a society where women are protected, respected, and empowered.
Mrs Makinde is not only concerned with the matter of women alone, in addition to her dedicated efforts on behalf of women and girls, she has also contributed significantly to the overall development of the State. Her collaborative approach has fostered partnerships with government agencies, civil society organizations, and private sectors to initiate projects and programs that address key challenges in the state. From infrastructure development to healthcare improvements, her contributions have positively impacted the lives of the people of Oyo State, leading to greater prosperity and well-being for all.
So now, as we celebrate Mrs Tamunominini Makinde’s 51st birthday, we honour her remarkable efforts in championing the rights and empowerment of women and girls in Oyo State. Her dedication to eliminating harmful practices, supporting the less privileged. We pray for endurance and strength to sustain her in this work, that the good Lord continue to grant her physical, emotional, and spiritual vitality as she continues to pour herself into the initiatives she champions.
Babatunde Adewole is our correspondent that covers the office of the First Lady of Oyo state.