In line with the cardinal focus of her pet-project, the wife of Akwa Ibom state Governor Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel has empowered about 100 Physically Challenge Persons with a view to making them self-reliant.

The event which had as its theme: “Right to Rise”, served as a clarion call for the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity within their reach to rise to greatness. Packages such as Braille Papers and Machines, wheel chairs, hair dressing/ salon kits, tailoring kits, hair barbing/ Saloon kits, and Generating sets were given to them for businesses.

Speaking, Mrs. Emmanuel who was full of excitement expressed her appreciation to God for keeping them alive, saying they are God’s ‘Special people’. She encouraged them to always be positive minded as there was ability in every disability. While asserting that ‘Special People’ had inherent talents embedded in them, the First Lady charged them to harness these talents and gifts, rather than engage in self-pity.

The Governor’s wife admonished the beneficiaries to use the empowerment packages to better their families and the society at large, stressing that she will be monitoring to see how well they cope. She also promised that her pet-project will continue to support and empower the Physically Challenged Persons in the state at regular intervals.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, the commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Glory Edet commended Mrs. Emmanuel for her kind gestures towards the physically impaired persons in the state and equally thanked the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his consistent support for the programmes of the pet project, calling on the beneficiaries to be patriotic by making good use of the packages given to them.

In their goodwill messages, the Hon. Commissioner for health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong and the wife of the speaker, Dr. Uduak Luke extolled the Godly virtues of the governor’s wife and her love for the downtrodden praying that God will reward her labour of love.

Responding on behalf of her colleagues, the President of Joint Association of People Living With disabilities, Mrs. Affiong Bassey described Mrs. Emmanuel as God-Sent to people of the state and prayed God’s blessings to replenish all she has done through her pet project. She acknowledged that Akwa Ibom State stands tall in the issue of inclusion of the physical impaired in the government.

Mrs. Bassey expressed her group’s appreciation to the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his giant strides in the industrialization of the state and his inclusion of a physical impaired in his government, pledging that they will surmount all disabilities and soar to greater heights.

Also speaking, the South –South Coordinator of the Nigerian Association of the Blind, Mr. Ubong Udoh appreciated the governor’s wife for identifying with them, attesting that it is only Akwa Ibom State out of the six states in the south- south zone that annually mark the Day of Disabilities.

In a vote of thanks, the Coordinator of Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP), Mrs. Imeh Inyang appreciated the Governor’s wife for living up to the goals of her pet project by supporting and empowering families to be productive.

She also thanked the Governor for always supporting FEYReP and admonished the beneficiaries to make ample use of the items.

As part of the event, there was a dance competition and Recitation of the Dakkada Creed. In attendance were wife of the Chief Judge, Mrs. Veronica Okon, wife of former deputy governor, Mrs. Atim Okpoyo and state PDP woman leader, Mrs. Mmeme Akpabio. Others were wife of the Vice Chancellor University of Uyo, Mrs. Rosaline Essien, legislators’ wives, wives of commissioners and female transition chairmen.