• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Akwa Ibom First Lady disburses cash, gifts to 600 elderly people

Akwa Ibom First Lady disburses cash, gifts to 600 elderly people

Six hundred (600) elders in Akwa Ibom State have each received N50,000 as part of an initiative for the elderly, a programme designed by the State Government to identify the priority needs of senior citizens and to cater for their needs.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the programme tagged ‘Celebrating Our Parents’ held in Uyo, the wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Patience Umo Eno, applauded her husband, for initiating the programme.

Patience Eno explained that the programme was created after Akwa Ibom State had carried out the directive given to wives of governors in the country by Nigeria’s First Lady, to host a similar programme in all the 36 states of the country.

The programme, which would hold monthly, is expected to help cushion the effects of the hardship experienced by senior citizens.

She prayed that the beneficiaries of the programme would live long in good health to continue to enjoy all the benefits the government has in store for them.

“I want to pray that the Lord continue to strengthen you. May He keep you well, strong and sound even at 100 years old. You will all live beyond 100 years old. You will not leave us just yet,” she said.

Setting the tone for the event, the Coordinator of the initiative for the elderly, Mercy Eka, said the event marked the beginning of monthly programmes for the elderly.

She said that the scheme which was conceived in support of the Renewed Hope Initiative of the wife of the President, has been domesticated in the state to reach out to different sets of senior citizens every month, with provisions made for the elderly of other tribes resident in Akwa Ibom.

Eka also said that 600 elderly persons for the maiden edition of the initiative were selected from all the wards in the 31 Local Government Areas of the state to receive stipends and medical care, assuring that more senior citizens would be accommodated in the scheme.

Goodwill messages were received from the Presidents of the Women’s Forum from Uyo Senatorial District, Ekaette Ebong; Eket Senatorial District, Idara Akpan, and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Inibehe Silas, who extended their gratitude to the Governor Umo Eno, for spearheading the meaningful initiative to honour the elderly in the state irrespective of tribe, religion, ethnicity or political lines.

Presenting a vote of thanks on behalf of beneficiaries, Ime Okon applauded the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno for his inclusive governance style, while also commending the Governor’s wife, Patience Umo Eno, for aligning with the vision of her husband, believing that the ARISE Agenda will bring about rapid development, growth and stability in the state.

The event which was preceded by a medical outreach to cater for the health needs of the elderly, featured dancing competition by the Elderly above 80 years and other activities, including performances by children of the Divine Children’s home and Ibom Acapella group.

The ARISE Initiative Elderly Support programme, which is domiciled in the office of the wife of the governor, was initiated by Governor Umo Eno, in support of the Renewed Hope Initiative Elderly Support Scheme of Nigeria’s First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, to provide succour to the elderly through providing medical services and money to enhance their welfare.