Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has commended women of the state for the noble roles they play in the development of the state in particular and the nation in general.
Speaking during the flag-off of this year’s August Meeting for women held at Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, with the theme: “Women and children must be protected as a bedrock of our community”, Gov. Ugwuanyi stressed that women, worldwide, have contributed immensely in the development of the society.
He added that his administration at its inception recognized the pivotal roles played by women in the initiation and effective implementation of government policies and programmes.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that it was in recognition of the above that Enugu State today has the first female Deputy Governor as well as the first female Chief Judge of the State, in the persons of Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo and Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, respectively.
The governor disclosed that four women were elected as members of the State House of Assembly with three serving as Principal Officers of the House, adding that his administration appointed women as Commissioners for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Finance, and Special Duties.
Stressing his commitment to women’s participation in governance, Gov. Ugwuanyi revealed that a woman was elected as Chairman of a local government area under his administration, for the first time in the history of Enugu State.
He therefore reiterated the state government’s commitment to continue to partner women in all sectors of development for the common good of the people of the state.
Gov. Ugwuanyi commended his wife, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, for the laudable roles she is playing through her pet project, Ugo’s Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF) and other children/women intervention and emancipation programmes.
The governor maintained that the annual August Meeting is timely and a veritable platform for women to unite, reflect and interact on development issues as well as proffer solutions to the challenges confronting them in particular and the society in general.
He therefore urged them to utilize the unique opportunity the gathering provides to chart a new course for their wellbeing, that of their families and the society at large.
In her speech, the Enugu State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Ugwuanyi, emphasized the need for women to take their rightful positions in the scheme of things in the state in particular and the country in general.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi who charged the women to always endeavour to upgrade their cherished sterling qualities, such as education, humility, intelligence, good home management, community leadership, among others, advocated for girl-child education, which she said, liberates the society from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, enslavement, diseases and other problems.
She expressed delight that the Gov. Ugwuanyi administration recognizes the roles of women in governance as evidenced in the emergence of the first woman Deputy Governor and first woman Chief Judge, among other enviable positions in the state.
Earlier in her remarks, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Rt. Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi and his wife for signing the Child Rights Act into law and their tenacity towards the fight against gender-based violence in Enugu State, among other women-friendly programmes aimed at improving the living standard of women and children.
Major highlights of the event also include a march-past by women from the 17 LGAs and inspection of farm produce from the council areas by Mrs. Ugwuanyi.
Also present at the event were the Chief Whip of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mrs. Jane Eneh, the Deputy Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Onyiye Ugwu, the Deputy Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Ethel Ugwuanyi, the member representing Isi-Uzo Constituency, Hon. Mrs. Catherine A. Ugwueze, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, his Finance counterpart, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwunne, Chairman, Governing Council, Enugu State College of Education (Technical) (ESCET), Amb. Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, present and past wives of the LG Chairmen and the Permanent Secretary, Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Evangelist Favour Ugwuanyi.
Others include Prof. Joy Ezeilo of WACOL, the Corporate Affairs Manager, Nigeria Breweries PLC, Mrs. Joy Egolum, DPP, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Onyinye Mamah and Barr. Ngozi Ikem, et cetera.