By Remi Oladoye
Saturday April 3rd 2021 recorded another unusual event in the ancient city of Ogbomoso in Oyo state when scores of people were empowered by the Ogbomoso First Initiatives (O’First Group) with economic tools worth N50million for sustainability and wealth creation.
The group which was pronounced the first community group to have established a Behavioural Action Care Centre in Nigeria by the Executive Chairman of the NDLEA Gen Buba Marwa (rtd) also scored another first as a non political group to Empower people with items of such magnitude.
O’First Group is a group of professionals, kind-hearted people who are determined to use their influence, God given wealth and opportunities as well as knowledge to have positive impact on the society and make it a better place for all to live, their major concern is not just about today’s healthy living but the future of Ogbomoso and they are making frantic efforts to ensure the ancient community is drug and crime free.
The leadership of the benevolent group are conscious of the fact that, poverty and crime has deeply permeated the society, hence, the need to reduce its unholy influence is by making provision for the vulnerable and putting in place facilities than can correct and control the effect of drugs which is the root of the increasing crime rates in the society.
Beneficiaries of the economic empowerment programm are vulnerable members of the society including widows, Artisans and aged people with a low chances of survival in this the harsh economic situation in the country.
Items distributed at the event includes, Industrial Sewing Machines, complete Unisex Saloon Kits, grinding machines, Motorcyles and bicycle Generator and other.
Folakemi, a middle aged widow with four Children said ” I am grtaeful, i dont know what to say but i know this will boost my income and i will be able to feed my children and educate them with less expectation from siblings and friends.
Similarly some members Ayotosimi Foundation Widow group were full of praise and appreciation to the leadership of O’first group for the support which they claim came at a time when its mostly needed.
Also Ogbomoso South Police State and Ogbomoso area command were giving motorcycles to enhance movement of officers during surveillance and patrol for effective security.
President of the group, Barrister Olusegun Adekunle, a retired permanent Secretary from the Federal Civil Service in his remark said what motivated the free distribution of valuable equipment to the beneficiaries is borne out of the group’s numerous aims and objectives which includes poverty alleviation, discouraging youths to eschew drug abuse, to remake the undesirable elements back into the community with a view to allow them be useful to themselves through various empowerment programmes and vocational trainings
He added that the essence is to corroborate the efforts of the government to create wealth and tackle poverty in the country and as the names of the association implies Ogbomoso ‘First Group, the charity begins at home
Adekunle who identified a nexus between poverty and crime and the need to tackle them said we have a lot of people who are widows, helpless, vulnerable and we have to systematically uplift them in such a manner that it can lower the temperature of Insecurity and poverty.we can’t leave everything to government, the society, the Community must play its role, we must all come together
Òtunba Báyò Babatunde, the Pioneer President of the group also implored all the beneficiaries to make the best use of the items cheerfully given to them and equally enjoined them to emulate the spirit of diligency and hardwork being displayed by one woman who was empowered by O-First about three years ago with a motorcycle but who has now enhanced her business by purchasing additional three of such motorbikes, due to her perseverance and dedication to duty, saying that, what the group just did is to resurrect lives of the needy in the spirit of the resurrection of Jesus Christ..
Professor Sola Adepoju, DG Forestry Research Institute, Bishop Morohunfolu Moradeyo, Engineer Muftau Open Salawu, Aresa of Iresaapa and others who spoke at the event commended the group for their ingenuity in lifting people out of poverty and urged the beneficiary to make best use of the working tools.