A non governmental organization, Association of Widows in Cross River, has endorsed the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade for a second term in office.
The Association commended the governor for the recent election of one them, Mrs Abbey Ukpukpen into Cross River State House of Assembly to replace her late husband, Hon.Steven Ukpukpen.
The over ten thousand widows across the state made this stand known in Calabar, the state capital, through their President, Mrs Grace Otu during a solidarity meeting with the Governor to thank him for Mrs Ukpukpen’s election.
According to Otu, “We sincerely thank Professor Ayade for thinking it wise to support the election of a widow to take over the seat of her late husband at the State House of Assembly, to represent the Governor’s state constituency.”
She further stated:” Today, we have one of us who truly understands our plight and will ensure that our interests is dully protected at all times and in appreciation to this mark of honour to widows, we the entire widows numbering over ten thousand in the state hereby publicly declare our support for the second term bid of our Digital Governor to enable him complete the good works he has started.”
Mrs Otu described Ayade as God-sent, who has impacted positively on lives of widows since assumption of office in May 2015, saying it will be unfair if they failed to pull their weight behind his second term ambition.
Ayade, she said, is the only Cross River State Governor in recent history that has shown so much interest in the welfare and wellbeing of widows as evident in the establishment of garment factory with over 80 percent widows and their children in it employ as well as the creation of a dedicated office and a Personal Assistant to interface with them.
The leader of Cross River widows urged the people of the State not to waver in their support for Ayade’s polices and his re- election bid.
Responding, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Stella Odey, who described the election of Mrs Ukpukpen as a demonstration of Professor Ayade’s magnanimity, love and passion to the welfare of widows, thanked the widows for reciprocating the gesture through their endorsement of the governor for a second term in office.
Odey, who stood in for the governor, said: “Ayade is a governor with a human face who is always seeking ways to better the lots of widows across the state through initiation of several empowerment programmes. These initiatives and programmes have transformed many widows which he passionately does not because he has so much but because he cares enough.”
She urged others in position of authority to emulate the governor, who according to her, came with a clean heart to serve with a clear vision to transform the socio economic landscape of the state for the betterment of all.