The wife of the governor of Akwa Ibom, Mrs Martha Emmanuel, has built and furnished 24 bungalow houses for widows and widowers in the state since 2015.
Mrs Emmanuel disclosed this during the maiden edition of Eket Women’s Day Celebration in Eket Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
She said that the houses were built and furnished through the Family Empowerment and Youth Re-Orientation Initiative (FEYReP), her pet project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Emmanuel commissioned a fully furnished two-bedroom bungalow for a widow, Mrs Adiaha Udo, in Ede Obok in Eket during the occasion.
Mrs Udo was earlier living in a shack for over 10 years.
She said that FEYReP was providing shelter to the hopeless, succour to widows, restoring hopes and touching the lives of most vulnerable people across the three senatorial districts of the state.
“The aim is to create a robust economic empowerment for families and re-orientate the youths to eschew all form of moral decadence,” she said.
Mrs Emmanuel advised Eket women to form cooperative groups so as to benefit from the State Government empowerment programme.
She also inaugurated a staff canteen, office block and 10 mini buses to convey staff to work.
According to her, the gesture is to complement the developmental strides of her husband.
She also donated N3 million to support the project for Eket women, saying that women are worth celebrating because they are pace setters.
The Chairman of Eket Local Government Council, Mr Frank Archibong, said that Eket women were celebrated because of the critical role they played in the development of the area.
He said the pet project of the governor’s wife was focused on providing economic alternatives to people and families who hitherto had been injured by poverty.
“Through FEYReP, you have built and furnished 24 houses for widows and widowers in order to alleviate their poverty and suffering,” he said.
While thanking Mrs Emmanuel for extending the building of houses to Eket, Archibong described Mrs Emmanuel as a “life changer”.
“We, as Eket people, are very happy for the house you have built and furnished, through FEYReP, for one of our widows, popularly known as `Adiaha Ntiin’.
He said that Emmanuel’s commitment to the economic empowerment of Eket people had continued to manifest in the various life-touching policies and programmes of his administration.
Mrs Bright Archibong, the wife of the council chairman, said that Eket Women’s Day Celebration was important not only for Eket women but for all women who seek to establish the fact that women are pacesetters for sustainable progress.
She underscored the importance of women, saying that women are home makers and nation builders.
“The celebration is significant because it affords Eket women the opportunity to reflect on their activities and the progresses they have made so far,” she said.
Rep. Ekpoatai Uwoidighe said that she has also attracted development projects worth over N400m to Eket.
Uwoidighe donated kitchen utensils to the widow and promised to give her N10,000 every month for her upkeep.
Responding, the beneficiary expressed appreciation to God for making the governor’s wife to remember her in time of need.
Mrs Udo thanked the wife of the governor for her kind gesture, saying that the Mrs Emmanuel had put roof on her head and smile on her face.
“I am also very grateful to Mr Archibong for facilitating the building through Her Excellency’s pet project FEYReP,” she said.