Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has said that to reduce poverty in the state, his administration would declare a state of emergency in the State educational sector.
He stated that classroom examination will be conducted for primary and secondary school teachers in the state and anyone who fails the examination will be redeployed to Ezzamgbo Agric farm.
The Governor unveiled this plan on Saturday, during the official launching of the Family Succour and Upliftment Program, a pet project of the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Rachel Umahi at the International Conference Center, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
He noted that the welfare of Ebonyi children remains very pertinent and must do everything to brighten the future of the younger generation.
According to him, the Government would engage N-power volunteers and first-class graduates in the state to achieve the goal.
He maintained that there will be thorough sensitization of teachers to ensure effective teaching and learning, adding that no one will be retrenched but will be redeployed to another field if he or she fails in the examination.
He commended the wife for caring for the needy, “My wife is an epitome of upliftment, therefore the state would join hands with her to build a better society and this is the calling of God upon her life.”
Earlier, the Initiator Family Succour and upliftment Foundation and Wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachel Ogonna Umahi enumerated her achievement, adding that the launching would enable her to do more and enjoined the people to support a course for the needy.
Mrs. Rachael Umahi said Family Succor started in 2015 and has provided hope to the downtrodden, that over 2,000 poor widows receive a stipend from the succor foundation.
According to her, “Incidentally, this is the first time family succor and upliftment foundation is organizing a launching. The humble achievements we made were through the support of friends, associates and a few partners. I can tell you that it has not been easy. It is to continue this human-oriented work and also increase our scope that we have invited you for financial and technical support. I am confident that you will support us adequately for the sake of the needy among us.”
Mrs. Umahi commended the development partners for their assistance which has helped in the reduction of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) from 74.4% in 2016 to less than 30% in 2019, domestication of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law among others.
Contributing, the wife of the Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi lauded the effort of Mrs. Umahi in putting smiles on the faces of the people and advised those working with her to ensure that the empowerment gets to the targeted people.
She said, “The only thing you can do to make her happy is to support her. How will we make her happy? By making proper use of whatever she must have donated to the less privileged. By making sure that we get the real people that need to be touched.”
“This is not politics, I know her. She is doing it with her whole heart. She cannot enter the village to get the needy. It’s only you, the people working with her that can do it.”
Mrs. Ugwuanyi urged women appointees to shun dichotomy in the selection of beneficiaries of the foundation.
She said, “Let’s pick the right people from the rural areas where you are representing her because she can’t be everywhere, you people are her eyes in the rural areas and you are the ones to fish out the most vulnerable people to be empowered.”
Member, House of Representative Izzi/Abakaliki Federal Constituency, Hon Sylvester Ogbaga on his part noted that “most people do not go to the downtrodden, most people give what is due to the people that are in very difficult situations to their brothers, sisters, wives, children. So, there is a need to look for people who need this help and not giving it to people who are supposed to be helping others.”
“I advise our mother to know who she directs to bring out women and children with special needs to be assisted.”
“Often, certain leaders are given this opportunity and they are stakeholders in their own level, more teaching is to be given to them, let them not see this as an opportunity for them to settle their brothers and sisters, they should look down to the grassroots and see people who need this assistance and bring to the mother of the state for help.”
On their part, The Chairman of the occasion, Very Rev. Father Abraham Nwali, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief. Cletus Ofoke as well as the Chairman of Ohaozara Local Government Council, Mrs. Nkechinyere Iyioku applauded the Governor’s wife for repositioning Ebonyi women as well as making life better for the widows and pledged their total support to the foundation.
In their separate remarks, the representatives of the Development Partners including Dr. Ken Ehuzor of UNFPA, Dr. Ibrahim Conte of UNICEF and Dr. Peter Sage of AMURT foundation observed repair of fistula patients, reduction of Female Genital Mutilation and increase in girl child school enrollment as some of Mrs. Umahi’s achievements but called for concerted effort for the selfless service to continue
Corroborating with others, Council Chairman, Afikpo South (Edda) Barr. Eni Uduma Chima and his Ebonyi Local Government Area counterpart, Mrs. Chinyere Nwaogbaga said, “Before the launching of this Family Succor Program, our Governor knew that such people exist and we have been bringing the needy to the government to care for right from our LGAs and as a Chairman we have been doing our best to see to the success of this program down to our wards and we will continue to do our best to make sure that the right people, the needy in our society are being cared for anytime and when needed, we will make sure that those that really need succor are fished out from the rural areas for help.