The Evangelist News Edition Tuesday June 27, 2023. By Tony Udoh
In fulfilment of his promise to run an all inclusive government, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno has announced the institution of a trust fund for physically- challenged students in public tertiary institutions with an initial deposit of one hundred million naira (N100, 000, 000).
Speaking at a meeting with the National Association of Students with Disability, University of Uyo Chapter, the Governor noted that if those who are physically challenged are willing to go to school, the least that could be done is to support them.
Governor Umo who was moved with empathy, urged the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education to carry out proper profiling to ensure that the beneficiaries of the fund are actually and solely the physically challenged in the state studying in public tertiary institutions.
It would be recalled that Pastor Umo Eno had, prior to the electioneering period, interfaced and empowered some physically- challenged students and promised to support one of them,
Mr. Udeme Emmanuel Ekanem, who was a law undergraduate at the time, to the Nigerian Law School upon graduation.
Consequently, the Governor announced a N5, 000, 000 support to cater for his law school bills, and a monthly stipend to make him comfortable throughout the period. He also promised the beneficiary automatic employment on his return.
Governor Eno who is renowned for his compassionate disposition, advised them to look beyond their challenges as, according to him, everyone is challenged in one way or the other.
He maintained that the gesture is to encourage them and ensure that those who have developed positive attitudes to life, despite the challenges, are comfortable in their chosen discipline.
To ensure effective and efficient coordination of the student community as well as those with disabilities, the Governor further announced the appointment of Comrades Wisdom Emmanuel and Ubong Ikpe as Personal Assistants on Students’ Matters and on physically challenged Students respectively.
Earlier in his remarks, the SUG president of the University of Uyo, Comrade Wisdom Emmanuel appreciated the Governor for creating time to meet with the most vulnerable students community within his first 30 days in office.
On his part, the Coordinator of the students with disability, University of Uyo, Comrade Ubong Ikpe commended the Governor for his compassion towards the physically challenged, and commitment to their welfare and that of the entire state.
Appreciating the Governor, Udeme Emmanuel Ekanem noted that during their final exams at the university, his colleagues mocked him that he would not make it to the law school as, according to them, the promise by Pastor Umo Eno to support him was mere political gimmick.
He appluaded the Governor for wiping away his tears and proving to the world that he is a politician with a difference and a man with a golden heart.
At the event were; Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah; Permanent Secretary Government House, Mr Godwin Udoh; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Lady Rose Bassey and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Margret Edem .