From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
Thousands of women from Anambra state are empowered on fish farming and poultry farming by the wife of Anambra state Governor, Mrs Margarete Peter-Obi. Mrs Obi shared thousands of fingerling and feeds as well as a day chicks to the rural women during International Day of the rural women in the state.
The wife of the Anambra State Governor, Her Excellency, Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi made the celebration unique. The programme is a United Nations (UN) programme to recognize the critical roles and contributions of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating poverty.
The state under Governor Peter Obi through his wife has employed all avenues of empowering rural women to end poverty and hunger. She coordinates her activities through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development , Lady Henrietta Agbata informed on why this year’s rural women’s day was celebrated at Anambra East local government area Headquarters, Otuocha. It was to enliven the spirits of communities in the flooded communities in the seven local government areas in Anambra North where the flood effect was highest.
She said other programmes of the ministry of Women Affairs like the Family Day and the School Social work were fused into the International rural women’s day celebration. That made the event a cynosure of all eyes as thousands of women and school children as well as couples thronged the council area.
According to Director Social Welfare , Mrs Rose Udeagabara, the theme- Family Unity: Implication for proper child upbringing was Anambra’s theme but the International theme for the rural women day was ‘’Empower Rural women , end hunger and poverty while the theme for the International family day celebration was ‘’Ensuring work –family Balance’’. Her co-planner of the event, Director Women Affairs, Mrs Maria.N Ezeanuna said the themes were apt.
They said that the School Social work is targeted at enhancing the academic performance of students; enhance emotional and psychological growth of students through those charged with responsibility of dealing with school children at homes, schools and communities.
In her speech Governor Obi’s wife expressed gratitude to the rural women who thronged the venue from the over 177 communities in the state to showcase the agricultural product they had the unique selling points on.
She was happy that despite the flood the women from the flood ravaged areas were able to participate and added colour to the celebration. She reiterated the state government’s continued efforts to ensure that its government remained the most gender friendly state in Nigeria.
Obi’s wife insisted that her husbands government gave women 35 percent in his cabinet even as she encouraged women in authority to ensure they uplift other women to enable them appreciate that women are ‘something’ today against the believe in the past.
On the family day celebration she described family as wonderful and charged parents especially mothers to ensure their children are useful to the society rather than become failures. She advised that little time should be spared with children at doing their home works. She bestowed award to the best couple of the year Chief Mark C.R Eriobuna from Ihembosi and best family worthy of emulation Engr Sir Philip and Lady Elina Okika from Awka. She appealed to women to be role models in their families.
Mrs Obi later inspected the various food crops, tubers and other species on display by the various local government areas before distributing thousands of bags of poultry feeds known as chicken mash as well as thousands of day old chicks and thousands of fish feeds and fishes-fingerlings to rural women as empowerment schemes. They were also given pumping water machines for dry season cultivation of vegetables among others.
In her address of welcome the state commissioner for women affairs and social development lady Henrietta Agbata extolled Her Excellency Mrs. Margaret Peter Obi for the motherly love and care she has shown to her ministry.
The commissioner noted that the two themes are very apt, particularly at this period of economic recession. She stated that there is need to equally empower rural women and for all to work together in order to maintain a balanced family.
“In the bid to ensure that we reduce poverty and maintained a balance family, His Excellency has undoubtedly empowered the women folk in Anambra State, through the following: Grants to our 15, 000 women, distribution tools (sewing machine, palm oil, processing machine, welding machines, grinding machines, refrigerators, baking ovens, hair drivers, soap making machines, water pump machines, poultry and feeds to empower women to over 1, 500 skilled women and youths.
Chairman House Committee on women affairs/Member Representing Awka North constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon Rebecca .U Udorji and Permanent Secretary in the women Affairs Ministry , Ms Francisca Chikwendu and Chairperson Anambra State Association of Town Unions Women Wing ,Dr Chinelo Okechukwu all lauded the efforts of Obi’s wife in galvanizing and empowering rural women to fight poverty and hunger.
Hon Udorji charged the women to spend much of their time with children at home, noting that lack of commitment on the side of women has contributed immensely to the deplorable condition of our society, youths restiveness and also promoting moral decadence. The lawmaker, however, appealed to them to maintain their position in their family as they women are the family builders.
Chairman on the occasion Hon Justice Vero Ngozi Umeh , Administrative Judge of Otuocha warned on the dangers of negligent of duties by parents and encouraged all to live above board in the family matters as the children watch.
Transition committee chairman of Anambra East LGA Hon. Chinedu Obidiegwu, that of Awka North Hon Joy Enweluzor and Njikoka who doubles as chairman of chairmen , Hon Daza Udeozor expressed satisfaction on the way the organizers planned and executed the programme. They applauded the state government’s drive to ensure that hunger and poverty are reduced to its barest minimum and thanked the government for keeping up to its promises.
In their separate paper presentations entitled family unit: Implication for proper child upbringing by Dr. Mrs. F.O.O Nwazor, proper supervision of our children to prevent bad habits by Mr. Odimgbe Obinwanne and primary school health by Mrs. N. Ekwugha, they attributed the moral decadence which has engulfed our society to lack of proper supervision of our children, laissez faire attitude and approach of parents especially women towards their children. They remarked that quest for materialism has brought about damage homes children with lack of parental guidance, care as well as hooliganism.
Recipients of the best couple of the year and best family , Chief Eriobuna and Engr Okika expressed surprises at the award which came to them without prior knowledge that they were being watched. They appreciated the Obi administration for the level playing ground.
Highpoint of the occasion was given out of award of recognition to the best couple of the year also cultural display from the people of the council area not without a sign that the post flood rehabilitation is going to be tough as they lost everything.