The teaming population of Eket women from the eleven wards in the local government area whose hope were heightened towards the scheduled visit of the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel to their respective ward headquarters went home extremely disappointed and dejected as the visit of the governor’s wife to their wards on Monday, December 5, 2016 failed to yield good dividends for them.
Our correspondent who monitored the visit of the governor’s wife to the area for what could be regarded as an advance campaign tour disclosed that the first disappointment encountered by the women who trouped out in great number to receive the guest and her entourage was the conspicuous absence of the governor’s wife in the campaign team. Rather, the team was led by her Special Assistant on Women Empowerment, Obonganwan (Rev.) Mercy Cephas.
Our source also reported that the women who gathered in an increasingly large number at their respective ward headquarters went back home grumbling as the representative of the governor’s wife did not make cash donations to individual women in any of the eleven political wards in the area which the team visited, contrary to the high hope nursed by the women based on the assurance by their ward leaders that the governor’s wife was visiting the wards to present money to each of the women who were physically present at the venue of the reception ceremony.
The Sensor also gathered that rather than wet the appetite of the anxious women, the team leader, Obonganwan Mercy Cephas only succeeded in distributing blank forms to the women in some wards which, according to her, would be used in compiling list for empowerment of the women in future. The team leader and her team mates merely stopped over in some wards including Eket Central Ward IV, specifically at the Civic Centre in Efoi with the promise of revisiting such wards at a later date after exhausting copies of the blank forms in the wards earlier visited by the team.
Our correspondent further reported that there were instances of serious misunderstanding and quarrels among women in some wards visited by the team while some women scrambled over few quantities of snacks procured from a token given to the women for their entertainment in some of the wards also visited by the team.
In an interview with our correspondent, one of the women leaders in Eket Central Ward III, Lady Helen Bassey who held brief for the women president of that ward disclosed that the purpose of the visit of the governor’s wife to the wards was to empower the women and assure them that the government of Deacon Udom Emmanuel still has Eket women in mind. Some women who spoke with our correspondent lamented having sacrificed their useful time, energy and businesses to attend a fruitless reception ceremony. They also frowned that the visiting team did not allow their women leaders to present their grievances and requests to the governor’s wife in proxy due to time constraint.
The women also expressed displeasure that this has been the second time the governor’s wife has snubbed Eket women by deliberately failing to keep to her appointments with the women and which has become a recurring decimal. Whereas, the governor’s wife personally went out to empower Onna women with a fabulous donation of N50,000.00 to each of the wards in that local government area but decided to insult Eket women with paltry donation of N20.000.00 only to each of the eleven wards in the local government area.
The women noted with surprise that Martha Udom Emmanuel has emulated the spirit of her husband who similarly told Eket people in 2015 during the opening ceremony of Mr. Ayang Akanimo Ayang’s football competition held in Eket Sports Stadium which he attended, and promised that he will rehabilitate the stadium when he becomes the State Governor, but has not redeemed his vow till date.
Members of the visiting team included the wife of the member representing Eket State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mrs. Ime David Lawrence; wife of the State Commissioner for Health, Mrs. Nelly Dominic Ukpong; wife of the Chairman of Eket Local Government Transition Committee, Mrs. Bright Frank Archibong, among other women leaders from the State capital and Eket Local Government Area respectively.