First Lady Hands out gifts, cash to widows

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The Akwa Ibom state Governor’s wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel on Wednesday rekindled hope and put smiles on the faces of over 300 widows from all the wards in the state with cash and gifts items.

Speaking at the event held at the banquet hall of the Government house, the Governor’s wife said that though the United Nations declared the 23rd of June every year as the international widows day, she had to celebrate the widows in September because she need to settle in the office.

Mrs. Emmanuel said the empowerment scheme became necessary as she understood what it means to raise children as a single parent. She charged the widows not to be deterred by their present situation but rather encourage themselves by holding unto God as he is the “husband to the widow.”

The Governor’s wife further charged the beneficiary widows to invest the cash empowerment she gave them so as to use the proceeds to cater for their children and also enlightened them on the “right widows” charging them to report any case of obnoxious practice towards them to the ministry of Women Affairs for proper action.

She appreciated the Governor for being a pillar of support in ensuring that the empowerment became possible.

Earlier, Mrs. Ekaette Joseph, who is a widow with seven children, recounted how she met the governor’s wife and was empowered to start a small scale business even before she became the wife of Governor.

Another widow, Mrs Ama Nnamso Ekpenyong, in a brief exhortation titled “God is a husband to the widow” and reading from the Isaiah 54:4-5, encouraged other widows not to give up on life as God will play the role of a husband to the widows and father to their children.

In a vote of thanks, a widow beneficiary, Mrs. Ekaette Brownson on behalf of other widows expressed gratitude to the governor’s wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel for her love and care for the widows and prayed that God will protect her and her family.

Advices were given by the former Deputy Governor of the State, Lady Valerie, Ebe, herself a widow, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Glory Emmanuel Edet and The Librarian of the University of Uyo, Prof. Felicia Etim who represented the Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo, Prof. (Mrs.) Comfort Ekpo.

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