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AU picks Abia, Rivers governors’ wives pet projects for session on women empowerment

Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu
By Sam Oditah
The Abia and Rivers States’ Governors’ wives pet projects have been chosen to participate in the 62nd session of the African Union (AU) Commission programme on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality.

The AU Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Tunji Asaolu, announced this in Umuahia on Thursday when he visited the Wife of Abia Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu.

Tunji, who was represented by his Special Adviser, Mr George Azubuike, said that the NGOs were the Vicar Hope Foundation of Mrs Ikpeazu and RivEthics, founded by the wife of the Rivers Governor, Justice Eberechi Wike.

He said that the commission scrutinised the activities of four frontline NGOs, sponsored by states in Nigeria and found the two qualified for participation in the conference.

The Country Representative said that the session, scheduled for March 11 to March 23 in New York, was being organised by the United Nations.

Tunji said that Ikpeazu was also chosen to deliver a keynote speech at a side event to be organised by the African Trade Centre, in conjunction with the AU Economic Social and Cultural Council, Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the side event, themed ‘Women Empowerment and Gender Equality: Issues and Challenges in Africa,’ was designed to share Africa’s perspective on women status on the continent at the event.

He said that Ikpeazu was expected to use the opportunity to address participants on the situation in Abia and Nigeria in general and the activities of her foundation.

Tunji said that the essence of the presentation was to enable her to attract grants and funding for her foundation’s social intervention projects.

He said that Ikpeazu would be conferred with the Africa Role Model Award at the event.

Responding, the governor’s wife expressed happiness over the invitation, saying that she had long yearned for assistance to enable her to deliver on the vision and mission of her foundation.

According to her, “God has answered our prayers because we have been worried about how to get necessary assistance to enable us to carry out our programmes.”

She thanked the AU for finding her foundation qualified for participation at the session and expressed the readiness of the organisation to partner with the union.

She listed some of the programmes so far executed by the foundation to include the building of 38 houses for indigent widows and provision of 366 wheel chairs to disabled persons.

Others are the provision of artificial limbs for 140 persons and take off grants to graduates of skill acquisition programmes for indigent youths of Abia.

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