As Osodieme Begins Tour of Anambra – By Emeka Ozumba


It is indisputable that the success of every government hinges on the connection with the wellbeing and support of the governed. This fact is obviously never lost on Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) who in the course of five years on the saddle maintains an enviable touch and relationship with stakeholders across the youths, men, and the women of Anambra.

Conscious that regular direct contact with the people across the 179 communities of the state is an uphill task, the Governor seem to have engineered a seamless system to ensure that his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) – the Advocate-in-Chief of Anambra women is in regular touch with Umunwanyi-Anambra so as to get regular feedback from that critical group of ndi Anambra. Thus began Osodieme’s annual Community & Local Government Tour which she embarks on in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs. This project is now in its 5th year. The advocacy and empowerment tour, normally sees Osodieme reaching out to women, youths, widows, the physically challenged and the less privileged.

The annual tour is a veritable first hand feedback mechanism from Anambra communities to the government and vice-versa, and the 2019 Local Government Tour commencing on August 5, 2019 with a visit to Awka South Local Government is no exception.  Supported by the Hon Commissioner for Women Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue and her team, the wife of the Governor will crisscross the state under rain and shine to touch and feel the pulses of ndi Anambra, particularly their women’s. These experiences and keen observations are taken back to the table of the Governor. Asides engaging other stakeholder channels, the tour is one of the vital instruments behind Governor Obiano’s deft understanding and response to the needs and pulses of residents and citizens of the state.

In the course of the tour, Osodieme will talk about the just concluded 2019 Mothers Summit and the lessons therefrom, and remind the women of the need to work hard, alongside their husbands, to keep the family stable. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate her unflinching commitment to the welfare of the average woman. She will advise and exhort those who have nothing to do to come under the roof of her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), to be trained free of charge in any field of micro enterprise and enjoy the free start-up capital and enabling equipment like the over 4,600 earlier beneficiaries of the scheme.

Also Osodieme will remind ndi Nne Anambra that ‘Health is wealth’; she will advise them to embrace the wonderful opportunity created by our working Governor, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, to make healthcare available for all through the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme.The annual registration for the services per person is N12,500. This arrangement provides a very good avenue for philanthropists amongst ndi Anambra to take health burden off the poor.

Being a marriage counsellor, Osodieme will instruct the women on Genotype awareness and the need for pre-marriage test to avoid the occurrences of avoidable sickle cell disorder. Thankfully, The Anambra State House of Assembly has given legal back to mandatory tests between prospective couples so as to avoid the occurrence of sickle cell since prevention is better than cure.

The tour is an opportunity to talk about government programmes and projects in the communities. It helps elicit challenges faced by the various towns and preferred interventions they expect from government. Such exchanges have been very useful in the past years leading to quick intervention by the government in identified arrears of need.

Osodieme will also exhort on the need for continued support for the government and the need for communities in the localities of the state to take ownership of government projects amongst them and ensure their safety for the people to enjoy the benefits maximally. In fact, it was this channel of engagement that gave rise to intervention of her NGO, CAFÉ, in the construction of over fifteen rest rooms in rural markets to promote hygiene and healthy environment as well as protect the dignity of the womenfolk.

During the tour, nothing is left under the table, many agencies of government including the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Anambra Health Insurance Agency, to mention but a few, are some of the organizations collaborating with the wife of the Governor in taking the messages of avoidance of substance abuse, road safety imperatives, especially in the rainy season, and health consciousness to the people.

To cap the community engagement, Osodieme, the wife of the governor, empowers select indigent widows, children and the less privileged, especially the physically challenged, with food items and stipends to help sustain them. All told, the benefits of the Local Government tour to the communities and the government as a useful resource for interaction and feedback cannot be over-emphasized.

It is therefore a vital cycle of extra-governmental engagement that facilitates Governor Willie Obiano’s determination to continue to expand the frontiers of good governance in Anambra State.

Ozumba is Chief Media Officer to the Governor




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