Beneficiaries of Governor David Umahi’s empowerment schemes across Ebonyi State on Friday rolled out the drums to celebrate and honour the Governor.
The beneficiaries, under the aegis of Governor Umahi Empowerment Beneficiaries Association, as well as widows and elders numbering over 10,000, hosted the Governor and his wife at the Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki as part of events marking the second term inauguration of Umahi.
The beneficiaries adopted the event to launch an Empowerment Hall of Fame, named Akubaraoha Empowerment Hall of Fame, in which the Governor, his wife Rachel and other prominent empowerment impact makers were admitted into.
Speaking during the event, Governor Umahi expressed delight over the various empowerment schemes of his administration, describing them as dreams come true.
He revealed that his second term agenda would be focused on more of human capital development and other forms of empowerment aimed at building serious persons who would take over the State economic-wise.
He added that such was the reason behind his ongoing Industrial Clusters across the three zones of the State.
Umahi who challenged political appointees and other successful entrepreneurs to mentor at least 20 youths by leveraging on the opportunities and policies of Government to uplift such persons and make them successful, underscored the need to positively redirect the youths as leaders of tomorrow.
Expressing his administration’s desire to build a recreational resort for elders in the State where they could go to both exercise and refresh, Umahi announced the empowerment of additional 1,300 widows and others in his second term.
Umahi said: “Today we can say that we have obeyed God.
“In our second tenure, those who have would receive more because we don’t celebrate failure.
“Friendship now will be based on your ability to do something.
“If you are lazy, you are not my friend….
“All appointees of mine should choose at least two widows to care for and guide to where they would receive healthcare via the office of the SSA on Religious and Welfare Matters.
“In our second tenure, we would empower additional 1,300 widows, 1,000 additional youths and GUMEBA members respectively.
“We would also empower additional 500 Ministers of God, 100 from each bloc of the Christian Associations of Nigeria and 100 additional Muslims in the State.
“We would also aggregate the remaining wives of Security Agencies for empowerment.”
While he praised the Commissioner for Human Capital Development, Uchenna Orji, for his passion in driving the empowerment programmes of the State Government, he charged GUMEBA to review the performance of beneficiaries so far to enable those who performed exceptionally receive added lift.
Orji in his welcome address chronicled the numerous empowerment schemes of the Governor, describing them as the reason behind the celebration.
Orji said: “Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the first four years of the Divine Mandate Administration of Governor Umahi has brought blessings to our people.
“Within the four years, 3,000 widows and youths have received a grant of N750 million to pursue Agriculture related enterprises.
“Five hundred and twenty Ebonyi youths and women in Lagos State have been given a grant of N130 million under the Street to Skill empowerment scheme.
“More than 4,000 poorest of the poor widows have been given a grant of about N400 million, while 403 spouses of federal security officials resident in Ebonyi State have received a grant of N80.6 million.
“Four hundred Ebonyi youths and women, including those in Onitsha, Anambra State, have been given 400 brand new TVS Tricycles to uplift their living standards, free of charge….”
Orji described Governor Umahi as “a man whose leadership credentials, performance index and human empowerment hallmarks are making waves in the continental Hall of Fame.”
Some of the empowerment beneficiaries, elders and windows who shared their testimonies, including Ability Kelechi, Chief David Onu, Martina Nwankwo and Nnenna Akpa Chukwu, appreciated Governor Umahi for leading them out of abject poverty.
In an exhortation earlier, the State CAN Chairman and Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious and Welfare Matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, extolled the importance of showing gratitude, stressing that a gratuitous heart attracts more blessings.
Nwali enumerated the many welfare gestures of the Governor in the areas of health, economic upliftment, compassion and his infrastructural developmental strides, pointing out that Ebonyians ought to always be grateful to him.
Highlights of the event was the admittance of the Governor, his wife and Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, as well as other prominent Ebonyians into the various categories of membership of the Akubaraoha Empowerment Hall of Fame.
There were also a party for the widows and the wlderly.
The event was chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof. Francis Otunta.