By Chibuzo Anichukwu
The saying that behind every successful man is a woman is one that those who have closely followed the humanitarian works of the amiable wife of the Governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, will readily agree to.
Coming to power with a promise to provide godly and humane leadership to the good people of Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had gone further to dedicate the state to the God. In the face of dwindling federal allocation and recession, the governor also affirmed his belief in the miracle of five loaves and two fish.
Building on this foundation, Mrs. Ugwuanyi took it upon herself to run with the task of recommitting Enugu into God’s hands on the 9th day of every month on the platform of the Enugu State Women Prayer Network. The result is that Enugu has been variously rated as one of the most peaceful and secured states in Nigeria. Also, whereas richer states lament of unable to pay their workers and say there is a casting down, Enugu State has continued to witness a lifting up. Now Enugu is not only among the few that pay workers regularly, development projects are going on in every part of the State.
A woman deep in God’s word and overflowing with milk of human kindness, Mrs. Ugwuanyi understands that faith and good work are mutually reinforcing. Therefore, she has not only been mobilising Enugu women to pray, she also put structures in place to minister to the educational, health, and economic needs of the less privileged in the State.
Through the Ugo’s Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF), which she founded, Mrs. Ugwuanyi has taken it upon herself to close the palpable gap in healthcare between the rich and the poor. The U-TOLF’s healthcare programmes have provided free cervical and breast cancer screening, enlightenment and treatment to thousands of women, while men are provided with free prostate cancer screening and care. U-TOLF has provided free eye screening and treatment as well as free deworming of thousands of school children in rural areas. The Foundation also builds sickbay and carry out other health campaigns, such as hygiene to promote health in rural schools.
Education, according to the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandella of blessed memory, is the great engine of personal development through which the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, son of a mineworker become the head of the mine, and a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. Therefore, Mrs. Ugwuanyi, has, through the U-TOLF’s scholarship scheme, popularly known as Project 102, ensured that orphans and children of the poor do not miss out on primary and secondary education. Those covered by this scholarship scheme are cared for down to their uniforms, sandals, books and writing materials throughout their junior and senior secondary education.
To empower women economically, Mrs. Ugwuanyi not provides free vocational training for women, with priority given to the widows, she also personally hands them the requisite facilities to start up their own businesses. Farm inputs, such as fertiliser, are also distributed to woman in rural areas every farming season.
The amiable wife of the governor also understands that the primary duty of a woman is housekeeping. Therefore, she personally takes it upon herself to guide women on home management, household hygiene, clean cook, and among others.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi’s life-touching efforts also extends to the routine visits to orphanages and old people’s home, prophetic donations, leadership training, and Children’s Vacation Camp. It is well known to the people of the state that Governor Ugwuanyi and his wife do not hold elaborate events to mark their birthdays. They celebrate with orphanages.
Today, Mrs. Ugwuanyi continues her statewide annual women empowerment outreach with a visit to Amangunze, headquarters of Nkanu East Local Government headquarters. The outreach, which holds every August, will put smiles on the faces of many women and the less privileged.
It is, therefore, with a grateful heart that the women of Nomeh Unataeze and Nkanu East Local Government Area join the wife of the Chairman, Nkanu East Transition Council, Mrs. Precious Ubagu and the good people of the Nkanu East in welcoming the mother of the state to Nkanu land.
It is often said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. But you have also shown that out of the abundance of the heart, the hand gives.
Good wife of the good man, omuo olezuta anya, oso di eme, we heartily welcome you to Nkanu East with a basketful of gratitude. May your light, therefore, continue to shine brighter for the world to see and emulate.
• Anichukwu, wife of the Special Adviser (Media) to the Deputy President of the Senate, wrote in from Enugu.