By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Wife of the governor of Anambra State, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano has denied that her husband created office of the first lady in the state, and runs it with funds from the state’s coffers.
Mrs. Obiano said what the state had was an office provided for her by her husband to help her meet with Anambra women who come to seek audience with her on a daily basis.
She also denied claims that the state government funded her pet project, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative, saying her husband’s salary, her own funds and those of donors were used to run the it.
Mrs. Obiano who spoke through the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Hon Emeka Ozumba said the clarification become necessary to douse insinuations and suggestions in certain quarters to the contrary.
“Anambra does not have a First Lady and there is no statutory budget or allocation for such an office by the Legislature. Thus being conscious of the provisions of the law and the need to ensure that his wife continues with charitable works she is known for all her life, the governor staked his monthly salary.
“Before now, the governor always gave his monthly salary to churches, but with the birth of CAFÉ, Obiano decided to channel the money to it, to help her wife continue with her passion of providing for the poor”, she said.
Ozumba said the governor and the wife had clear understanding of the importance of ensuring that the welfare of the average Anambra woman was not neglected, and that the governor’s wife was playing her role in the effective mobilisation of the women folk for participation in governance.
“As a well-horned technocrat and auditor of repute Obiano set the parameters for private funding of CAFE before the formal launch in 2014. Again as the need arose the governor provided a physical Office for the wife where she can meet and consult with various women groups and partner NGOs who converge daily in search of audience with her at the Governors’ Lodge.”
Chief Arthur Eze, Ernest Azudialu, are among the prominent Anambra indigenes listed as supporters of Mrs. Obiano’s pet project.
Mrs. Obiano has through her pet project, CAFÉ supported indigent Anambra women with various needs, including building two bedrooms apartment for a number of women in communities around Anambra.
Ozumba said Mrs. Obiano would soon start this year’s round of community tour programmes, stressing that such direct contact with the rural women helped to feel the pulse of the people especially rural women, understand their core needs and pressing challenges with a view to carrying the message back to the governor for attention.