…..The Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Path initiative (FEYReP) celebrates four years of showcasing successful families, empowerment of women in different dimension including agriculture for food sufficiency, advocating and preventing teenage pregnancy, promoting moral values in youths and government efforts toward Sustainable Development Goals; many heart-warming commendations have continued to pour in from far and near. However, despite the towering profile of FEYReP activities, Her Excellency Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel isn’t allowing that to slow her down as she is insisting that more are still in the pipeline waiting to be unveiled.

Her Excellency on today September 14th, this precious jewel of Akwa Ibom opened her doors to the media community for a conversation where she was able to take them through the successes, the challenges and what the future holds for FEYReP. As expected, the media professionals did not disappoint as they fired in from every angle to which Mrs. Emmanuel calmly responded to without any difficulty.

On women empowerment, the governor’s wife said FEYReP in four years has empowered over 3000 rural women through a cash conditional transfer scheme. She said these women have been able to grow their businesses to support their families. Hear her: “the successes are enormous and I must give glory to God for the grace to have empowered as many women within these years. Without mincing words, we have touched no fewer that 3000 families in the state. You know when women have something doing, they will always give back to their respective families, so I’m happy that with the special grace of God, we have achieved this feat in just four years.”

What of FEYReP’s Shelter of Hope programme? the governor’s wife had this to say, “the programme was initiated out of the urgent need to provide the poorest of the poor among us with roofs over their head. When I think of where I live and where my children live and then you see a family that can’t afford a decent life living in a very precarious situation, you can’t but shade tears. Through this initiative, I’m proud to say that we have built and delivered over 30 houses for many indigent families.”

The first lady also went further by adding that FEYReP in the last four years without doubt has complemented government efforts towards making Akwa Ibom people rise to greatness. “I selflessly committed my self to bridging the gap through FEYREP , we have complemented the strides of my husband the Governor and as we mark the fourth anniversary, we must also take stock of our achievements in order to restate our commitment to the constituencies we serve.” She asserted.

Another area of concern for the society watchdogs was the various advocacy programmes of FEYReP in recent times. Mrs. Emmanuel took time to reel out the achievements in this regard. ” The campaign against all forms of gender based violence i would say have yielded positive outcomes. Firstly, we have taken the fight against rape to another level. Many have been convicted but henceforth, we will begin to publicly shame the perpetrators of the crime. I solicit your cooperation in this regard as we can no longer continue to shield the wolves in sheep clothing. On the violence against women, we recently partnered the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to establish a 24-hour call response GBV centre where we cater for women who have been abused. The boy-child and the girl-child are not left out either as we have also organised programmes meant to mentor them on the right path.”

On the source of funding FEYReP activities, Mrs. Emmanuel posited that International donor agencies, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals have been partnering with her in the last four years and as well solicited for more of such partnerships in the coming years. She added that as part of activities to mark the fourth anniversary of FEYREP, more life-touching projects will be inaugurated in the coming weeks. There’s no gain saying that through the instrumentality of Martha’s nationally acclaimed Pet Project: Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Path Initiate (FEYReP), she has amplified loudly and clearly the profoundly inspiring proclamation of the late British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher that “if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

14th September, 2019

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