How Akeredolu’s Wife Became ‘Ada Owerri‘.
Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is the first recipient of the prestigious title that was jointly given by all the traditional rulers in Owerri Federal Constituency of Imo State, Onyxnewsng gathered.
Ada, in Igbo parlance, represents the first daughter of a family; the leader, life and light of the family.
“The title ‘Ada Owere’ was a creativity.” 82-year-Old Chris Ajoku said, while speaking with Guardian.
Chris Ajoku is a veteran journalist and former teacher who had taught Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu in 1960 as a standard II pupil at Emeabiam Central School.
Ajoku added that the process of appointing Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, as the first Ada Owere of Owerri federal constituency was really a rigorous one.
After a diligent review, the Ezes of Owerri West pushed the theme to Owerri Federal Constituency for a more critical review.
Chairman of Imo Traditional Institutions, Owerri Zone, HRM, Eze David Akujobi Osuagwu, said: “It was not a cheap process. The selection was thorough right from the conception to the final stage of ratification. We considered her suitability on the basis of personality, pedigree and achievements before it was eventually approved by over fifty monarchs. She’s a great woman who has represented us very well. It is not a mistake that we are honouring her with the title.”
The host monarch, HRH, Eze Eunan Eke O. Eke, Okpo I of Umuokpo Emeabiam, justified Anyanwu-Akeredolu’s suitability, saying: “Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has been working for the development of the community for a very long time. She deserves it and the entire Ezes in the Owerri West Federal Constituency have affirmed this. This is not a title anyone could have bought. It was given in recognition of her sterling qualities.”
Being part of her achievements, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is highly rated for founding the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), a leading Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) that galvanises actions against breast cancer through public education, patients support, advocacy and research, for which she was nominated in 2014, as a scholar of the American Cancer Society, alongside award of recognition in 2018 by Harvard University (USA) and recognition in 2019 by the University of Heildelberg, Germany.
Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who has been a rallying point for Owerri people, through her achievements at the home front, is fast falsifying the spurious impression of male child superiority over the female, particularly in a clime that lays special cultural emphasis on a male child. Beyond Owerri, and the entire eastern region, however, Betty is leaving a lesson so profound, that a female child can be as much as a male child can be to a family, community or country, and even more.