Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


- Samuel Ayara

"In changing the narrative of social intervention, I will devote my all at ensuring we reach out to the hitherto unreached, and will not stop till every family is captured and prosperity established in all spheres." - Martha Udom Emmanuel, October 2016.

Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa and eight others were in May 2015 captured among 12 women who changed the World, by Felicity Amos, who drew her premise from their pioneering roles in raising the bar of engagement for women across cultures. Famed to have overcome adversity, broke barriers and in doing so, changed the world, the 12 women could not have been the only feminine contribution to the evolution of the globe; every day brings us in contact with women who in ways than few are daring the status quo, to engender a new paradigm and order.

With women scaling up the advocacy of rewriting their stories to reflect their resolve in changing the dark narrative where gender parity mistaken for a privilege, the last decade have witnessed women who have done more than taking sedentary postures, believing the men folk would hand them a turf on the platter of gold. Of significant note in the Super-Alpha order of womanhood is the great scion of the Sampson Udoidiong dynasty and wife of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, who in the last four years has challenged her records to help everyone find a voice.

Going past feminism, numerous of Martha's interventions are mobilized to effectively position the family in its full component for productivity, a gesture that has warmed the hearts of the people to the consciousness of her hospitable dispositions, which many attribute to the fabric of royalty she is made of. This effort of hers' have manifestly signposted our space in deliberate departure from the circus shows and lip services that hitherto beclouded our consciousness in lending humanity a shoulder of support.

By October 2015, when the Governor's wife rolled out her pet project, the Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Path Initiative (FEYReP) not many saw it beyond the conventional protocol of a First Lady's policy thrust. Unlike others, FEYReP did not take long to bear palpable fruits that have become the cynosure of social engagement in Nigeria. The far-reaching approach the handlers of feyrep employed became the most encompassing strategy of social engineering, which has raised countless several to the light of true compassion.

Four years down the line, FEYReP has not only become a household gesture, but one that has redefined philanthropic scope to an ideology that makes dependence a needless call. With cutting edge intervention programmes spread across the state, building houses for the vulnerable and less privileged women may have stayed long enough in our clime, but looking away from women, who are often widows to providing shelter to vulnerable men and families is everything heavenly. As of last count, FEYReP has built and delivered more houses than most National Housing Schemes in Nigeria ever scratched, and regardless of the quantum of housing interventions, it does not yet seem uhuru for the Governor's wife.

Taking advantage of the current administration's industrialization caste, the Governor's wife has through FEYReP, mobilized women in unassuming clusters to benefit from the promising window of prosperity and wealth creation of the Udom Emmanuel administration. It is unassailable that never in the 32-year history of the State were women more involved in entrepreneurial endeavours than under the current administration. With numerous agro-allied initiatives geared towards attaining food sufficiency, including the one hundred hectares of cassava plantation, agro mills, mechanized and specialized agriculture policy, women empowerment through FEYReP has gone past handouts to sustainable packages that have seen Akwa Ibom women operate in an all time high productivity quotient.

The far reaching impact of the FEYReP food intervention has been tremendous; perennial shortage and price hike on commodities like Garri, yam, flour and vegetables have suddenly become a thing of the past, our markets are now saturated with staple foods at reasonable costs, because Martha cares. This approach of balancing demand with supply could have resulted in huge losses to traders, but here, the traders are happy, because the Governor's wife has made them a part of the food price revolution regime, by reducing the cost of transportation they incur through the massive production of home grown staples.

When tales of Martha Emmanuel's goodwill and virtue gets to generations unborn, an emphatic mention would be made of her interest in the wellbeing of the people. It is on record that apart from the 2017 medical outreach that saw more than sixty medical personnel and specialists storm the state on a free medical mission, FEYReP has constantly been on the vanguard raising the health fortunes of families in the state and is endlessly looking out for indigent families who cannot afford healthcare. Through regular outreaches to health facilities, patients are no longer kept in hospitals for failing to offset their bills, as FEYReP has so widely opened its arms to provide succor. It is on record that the marked reduction in infant and maternal mortality rate in the state is not unconnected with the special attention the Governor's wife have extended to pregnant women, while surgeries and free medical consumables like free glasses are items tens of thousands of Akwa Ibomites may take a while to forget.

Most reassuring of an administration's resolve to chart a beneficial course for the future is FEYReP's social orientation policy that advocates an end to antisocial vices like rape and spousal abuses. In achieving this, there has been sufficient awareness to communities, schools and churches for victims to speak up and interestingly, there has never been a policy that allows the oppressed a platform to defeat the villain than what the Governor's wife has provided. This unequivocally accounts for the high number of offenders brought to book as well as those rehabilitated. The girl child has found no better time to excel and compete favourably with the male folks than in the last four years, which have seen the Governor's wife leading the campaign to have them embrace the virtue of contentment and Godliness to keep from the trap of sexual abuse, infant pregnancy and other consequences of untoward attitude.

Beyond preparing the girl child for a rewarding future, Mrs. Martha Emmanuel spares nothing at ensuring male children are morally reoriented so as not to endanger the well-groomed feminine cache. According to her, paying attention to how the girl child is raised to the utter neglect of the concerns of the male child would engender an imbalance the state cannot afford to risk, hence the essence of her pet project's focus; which captures every unit of the family. This may be viewed as an intangible tributary of her social re-engineering, but definitely not a pleasant item to overlook, as the resultant effect could have been disturbingly overwhelming.

Her support to the numerous policies of the Udom Emmanuel administration is undoubtedly profound and aptly expressed in the massive women support the current administration has enjoyed from inception. It was both gratifying and instructive to behold the support the Governor and his party enrolled from women across all parts of the state, which ultimately gave out losers of the 2019 elections even before the polls, as Akwa Ibom women stayed unflinching at mobilizing to ensure the governor won a second term. For them, it was all they could do in gratitude for the countless benefits they have drawn from Martha's numerous interventions.

Little then wonder the glowing tributes she attracted from her peers and members of the Southern Governors Wives' Forum, during their meet in Uyo, when wives of Governors of Southern Nigerian extraction betrayed political, ethnic and religious leanings to speak glowingly of Martha Udom Emmanuel's approach to governance as exemplary and timeless. Through numerous testimonies of her life of goodwill, she has engraved an imposing picture of virtue in our clime to earn accolades and commendations from international, national, professional and corporate concerns. Such acclaim and recognitions include the United Nations Award for her effort at uplifting and empowering women and the girl child through her pet project (FEYReP), Excellence award from the Biochemical Society of Nigeria and a Fellowship award from the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, to mention just a few. In her honour, numerous scholarly awards are floated for indigent, brilliant and gifted students in tertiary institutions; one of which is the Martha Academic Excellence Award, sponsored by the Ini Ememobong Foundation.

Roundly hands-on, urbane, empathetic and supportive, this icon of family emancipation has done well at manifestly accounting for her emergence as the first indigenous wife of a Governor in the State, since the return of democracy. By the speed, pace and clarity she has translated her vision for the state, she has inched further to establish that pride and arrogance should never be an item on the plate of public service, which she has shown by the ice-piercing humility, mien and candour she typifies, even in moments of extreme provocation.

Engendering a paradigm that measures mandate delivery by mileage covered, impacts made and surpassing existing standards, Martha Udom Emmanuel has set herself apart as a reference point for social restructuring in Nigeria, whom divinity, humanity and posterity is pleased with.

Behold Akwa Ibom's new paradigm of goodwill and virtue, MARTHA UDOM EMMANUEL.

Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot