- Â Lawmaker empowers 500 widows, orphans in Ebonyi
Abimbola Akosile in Lagos and Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, (SSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has advocated a general stakeholdersâ€™ commitment in the quest to ensure zero discrimination across all strata of the society.
Orelope-Adefulire in a statement issued by her Media Assistant, Desmond Utomwen, noted that the provision of Goal 16 Target (b) in the SDGs framework enjoins nations to promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development.
â€œAs we join the United Nations and other International Organisations to mark the Zero Discrimination Day, it is my honour to encourage everyone to continue to contribute and support the efforts aimed at eradicating all forms of discrimination.â€ Orelope-Adefulire stated, while calling for the adoption of policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, among other efforts to progressively achieve greater equality.
The SSAP-SDGs, while maintaining that the Nigerian government is doing its utmost to tackle the challenges of inequality and discrimination, just as it has made significant strides towards lifting people out of poverty, further noted that government will continue to address all forms of inequality, disparities noticed in access to health and education services and other assets.
She opined that there is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development â€“ economic, social and environmental.
To reduce discrimination and inequality therefore, she stated that policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalised populations.
The Presidential aide called for support of all stakeholders, including the Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs), Development Partners etc in the entrenchment of mechanisms that would help empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic and other status.
Meanwhile, a Member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal constituency in Ebonyi state, Hon. Linus Okorie has empowered 500 widows and orphans drawn across the 34 electoral wards of his constituency. The lawmaker distributed 3000 bags of rice, cash gift and other valuable times to the beneficiaries.
At the event held at Okorie’s country home, Onicha Igboeze in Ebonyi state recently, Okorie noted that gesture was anchored under his Caring Heart Foundation Programme.
The chairman House Committee of Agricultural Institutions and Colleges also disclosed that the empowerment programme was one of the series of programmes initiated to bring succour to the vulnerable and less privileged ones in the constituency.
He said: â€œthis event is very important to me and my wife. We have doing this. Today is with widows and orphans. We imagined that these are series of people that are easily forgotten. We talk about them but we don’t usually have time to sit with them, at least share a meal with them. We are motivated and encouraged by the good works of the governor, David Umahi and his wife, Rachel. We are aware as we speak that she has over 4,000 widows who are in the employ of governor’s payroll.â€
â€œIt was a gratifying moment for me. Caring Heart foundation is what I am. The moment I joined politics, my major aim was to feel the pains of the next person. I just forwarded the empowerment of 10 graduates from my constituencyâ€.
The representative of wife of Ebonyi state governor, Mrs. Rachel Umahi, Mrs. Chinyere Iyioku promised that her office would remain committed towards alleviating the pains and sufferings of widows and the less privileged in Ebonyi state.
She noted that widows and orphans are special people in the society that needed to be cared for rather than forgotten as is the case in many societies today, adding that it was for this reason that her foundation, Family Sucour and Upliftment Programme, has special focus on widows and less privileged ones in general.
Wife of the lawmaker, Lilian Okorie added that the empowerment programme was a routine programme of the Foundation.