Kwara’s First Lady: A beacon of intervention


By Usman Yunusa Lade

The First Lady of Kwara State, Dr. Mrs. Olufolake Ajike Abdulrazaq is a mother, diplomat, and consular par excellence who has served Nigeria in various capacities, both within and outside the country.

In the last one year and three months as the First Lady of Kwara, the people of the State have been enthralled by the re-enactment of people-powered interventions led by the citizens of different NGOs, Advocacy and Youth groups, with Dr. Olufolake on the front seat, designing and executing people-centric programs and interventions which has had a positive impact on people of the state.

There is no doubt that her performance in the state as the First Lady has been adjudged as one of the best amongst her peers across the country, her heavy interventions in tuberculosis, breastfeeding, campaign against gender-based violence, drug abuse, and illicit trafficking and giving children’s welfare priority has earned her accolades within and outside the State.

Dr. Abdulrazaq in her vision and quest to positively impact lives in the state launched a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Ajike People Support Center, to drive her ideology and her purposeful interventions in the nooks and crannies of the state devoid of sentiments and bias. This Centre in its short space of operation has recorded some laudable achievements from Skill Acquisition, Mentoring, Gender-Based Advocacies, Grassroots Development, and community-based programs.

I could recall sometime around June 2019, just some days after the present Government was inaugurated, a rape case involving a 4 year old girl, Aliya who was allegedly defiled by a 51 year old man, Baba Salama, in Ilorin, Kwara State was brought to the attention of the first lady and the swift response given to the case by Her Excellency depicts the spirit of motherhood in her. She was actively involved and up and doing to ensure the child gets all the necessary medical support and as well ensure justice was served accordingly.

This, she was able to achieve even as there were no Commissioners as at then, of which the bulk of the stress could have been better-taken care of by the led Commissioner in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. It was indeed a laudable social intervention. A great woman.

Dr. Abdulrazaq in her stewardship to ensure her voice is heard in the light of stemming the rising cases of rape and Gender-based violence in the State led thousands of people to a walk against gender-based violence in Ilorin, the state capital. This she didn’t do alone, but also with the support of almost all the women in the Kwara state cabinet inclusive of all Commissioners, Head of Departments and, Agencies, the Head of Service, and some foremost Nigerian celebrities like Hip-Hop Star, Small Doctor, Movies Actor, Kunle Afolayan and the ace comedian, Lepacious Bose were all brought to the walk considering their large numbers of followers and the positive influence it will make in the youth in the Society.

Interestingly, I have only mentioned a few out of her many interventions in the state. It is also good to note that, just recently a case was again reported to Ajike People Support Centre – Yet again, another rape case. The sad thing is, this particular event took place in a supposedly learning environment; school, and the worse part was that the devilish act was perpetrated by one of the school teachers against a minor. This is a man who was employed and expected to instill discipline and knowledge in the school pupils. Sad!

Just as expected, Dr. Abdulrazaq intervened yet again, by mobilizing all the necessary Government authorities to get involved too, she also gave the family of the victim support in kind and in cash through the Ajike People Support Centre to enable the family to pursue the case, get justice so that it will serve as a lesson to people with such intention in the society.

The gesture of the Kwara State First Lady, Dr. Abdulrazaq is the practical analogy of the saying that goes that “behind every successful man, there stands a great woman”. Her role and important interventions in the state have no doubt complemented the good work of His Excellency, Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in the areas of skill acquisition for the youths, poverty alleviation, and women empowerment for the good people of Kwara State.

The magnanimity of her interventions indicates the reality that we now have a mother who is passionate about the welfare, socioeconomic, and development of the children, youth, and women in the state.

Usman tweets @Usmanlade. Email: [email protected]


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