….as 11,000 get empowerment
By Emeka Samuel
The first official visit of the wife of the President, Aisha Mohammed Buhari to Akwa Ibom State was Friday marred by a security breach allegedly caused by Senator Godswill Akpabio’s wife, Mrs Unoma Akpabio.
This is even as over 11,000 women and youths drawn from the 31 local governments of Akwa Ibom received various forms of empowerment from Mrs Buhari in furtherance of the FG social intervention programme.
The incident occurred when Mrs Akpabio’s attempted to assume the responsibility of the wife of the Governor, preempting the protocol officers from the presidency to wade in.
It was gathered that while the door of the aircraft opened and the First Lady Aisha Buhari made to start coming down, Mrs Akpabio suddenly sprang from her place to shove aside Mrs. Martha Emmanuel in order to receive the President’s wife to the state.
Akpabio’ wife, it was gathered had shoved aside the wife of the Governor of the State, who had been positioned rightfully by the presidential protocol team as the state’s first lady to receive the country’s First Lady formerly into Akwa Ibom.
This led to the door of the aircraft being shut as the President’s wife retreated and waited inside for another 25 minutes before the senator’s wife was persuaded to stop further attempts to ridicule the state by her actions.
Once normalcy was restored, the aircraft door was opened once again as Mrs Buhari stepped down to a warm embrace of Mrs Emmanuel who introduced her to other Akwa Ibom women at the airport to receive her.
Meanwhile some women at the airport who spoke with our reporters expressed displeasure at the show of shame by Mrs Akpabio.
They recounted that no former first lady in the state came to embarrass her, throughout her tenure as first lady between 2007 and 2015, wondering why she is too power drunk to forget that her tenure expired in 2015.
“See this woman I used to respect behaving like a little girl in a secondary school hostel.
“She received the wife of President Yaradua during her time, and also received Mrs Patience Jonathan, no woman ever insulted her this way,” an angry Mrs Akon Umoren told our correspondent.
It would be recalled that reports had emerged that there was an attempt by the APC to disrupt the protocol during the visit of Mrs Buhari, to score cheap political gains.
The empowerment programme which was in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment, NDE is part of efforts by the Future Assured Programme , a pet project of Mrs Buhari to encourage Nigerian women and youths to be self reliant and boost the growth of the economy.
Mrs Buhari in her speech commended the NDE for their forward looking approach to the empowerment of Nigerians and charged participants to submit themselves to the training inorder to become grounded in their area of training
In a remark a former Senate Minority leader Chief Godswill Akpabio lauded Buhari for his transformative policies adding that many of them left the PDP because of the President’s transformative programme including reducing corruption and reducing over 500 accounts used by the FG to one and introduction of social intervention programmes.
Akpabio commended the President for increasing the electricity capacity of the country, appointing many people from the state into positions of authority and assured the President that strategies have been put in place to ensure that the APC win with a landslide in all elections in the state next year.
Also in a remark, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly(Senate) Barr Ita Enang regretted that Governor Udom Emmanuel has continued to deceive the people of the state with promises of industrialization when the state government has not invested anything on any industry in the area.
Earlier the governorship candidate of the APC in the state Mr Nsima Ekere commended the FG for their priority attention given to poverty alleviation programmes in the country adding that change would come to Akwa Ibom with the anticipated victory of the APC in next year’s general elections.