‘Lady Edna trains, gives Startup packs’ -SSG’s Wife

By Ime Silas

Wife of Akwa Ibom State governor, Her Excellency, Pastor (Mrs.) Patience Umo Eno has lauded the President and Progenitor of Female Youth Association a.k.a. Purple Girls, Lady (Mrs.) Edna E. D. Udeme for her commitment towards adding value to the lives of girls and ladies in the state.

Represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. (Mrs.) Offiong Offor, the governor’s wife while speaking at the ceremonial resumption of the Academy for the fifth batch of Skills Acquisition training for two hundred (200) members of the Female Youth Association last Sunday, also pledged her support for the initiative.

“This is not a mean feat”, the First Lady’s representative declared, adding “…and I know that Her Excellency (Mrs. Patience Umo Eno) is a supporter of whoever is trying to handhold girls to help them stand. So, she is very delighted that you are doing this for the girls from different local government areas and across the state. I even heard someone mentioned Calabar Chapter, the last person that spoke.

This reminds me of something my father used to say when I was growing up as a teenager. He said to me ‘you are my first daughter and as a girl, the more value you add to your live, the more value you add to the person you will get married to’. I will never forget it. That is one motivation that has pushed me in life”.

While advising the beneficiaries of the Skills Acquisition programme to take their training seriously as their future might depend largely on it, she implored them to consider that the sponsor of the programme used the money meant for her personal use to cater for them.

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She continued “When you add more value to yourself, your place will not only be in the kitchen. Your place will be in the parlour. Your place will be in the Government House. So, whatever will make you add value to yourself, do not stand back because we come from a continent where women have to push themselves forward.

You can not stand at the back. Your value is in what you add to yourself. As a matter of fact, as a girl child, the odds against you are many, that’s the reality in the clime we come from. So when you tell yourself the truth, it will define how you live your life.

She (Lady Edna) has put in so much. I heard her say she had to use her salary to carry out this training. So, if she were to build a skyscraper, you are her skyscrapers. If she were to buy vehicles, you are her vehicles. Whatever she would have done for herself, that’s what you are”.

In a similar vein, the Guest Speaker and wife of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. (Mrs.) Inemesit Uwah, while pouring encomiums on ‘General’ Edna, also admonished the trainees to put in their best in order to graduate in record time.

“… because you have done this, God will surely bless you. What Lady Edna is starting today is to nurture you to become successful persons tomorrow. I am aware that she has been doing skills acquisition training for the past four years. And, I was fortunate to attend the graduation and that was when my mindset about Purple Female Youth really changed. You are really committed and useful.

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Today, this fifth batch is about to start, and as you are about to start, Lady Edna has gathered you, not just to train you, but to start by telling you why you are here. To start by telling you that your lives have begun today and you must first start with your mindset

“What you are starting today, if you follow the rules and regulations of the Purple Female Youth, in December, we are coming back to celebrate you. She is not only going to train you, she is also going to give you the resources to start with. I am a witness, I saw it and she is going to do it again.

So, this is going to help empower you. This is going to help transform you. This is going to help you to become useful and committed to your family and to your community. So, let us all recognize the fact that the benefits of empowering female youths is first, far beyond individuals. As I just said, it is not just about you, it is about Akwa Abasi Ibom State. It is about your village. It is about your local government and also, it is about your parents that have come today”.

Earlier in her address, the President of Female Youth Association and Founder of the Female Youth Academy, Lady Edna thanked the Holy Spirit whom she described as her number one partner in the vision.

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“I want to let you all know that what I’m doing here, I have a very big partner and His name is the Holy Spirit. He has refused to let me go. The push has been so strong and I feel it that someone is pushing me. I have attempted to leave this thing but He has refused to let me go. And I know, that partner is the Holy Spirit. Please, celebrate the Holy Spirit for me.

We thank God that He has brought us thus far. For the Academy, this is the fifth batch and we are hopeful that this is not going to be the end. With your support and other public spirited individuals, we shall get to enviable heights”.

Beneficiaries, their parents and guardians while expressing their joy over Lady Edna’s magnanimity, prayed God to reward her while also calling on the state government and other philanthropists to support her in order for the programme to be sustained.

Other dignitaries who attended the event included the Chairman, Transition Committee for Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, Hon. John Cleton; SA to Akwa Ibom State Governor on Grassroots Mobilization, Hon. Aniefiok Iwaudofia; SAs to Governor on Youth Matter, Mr. Iniobong Akpan and Ubong Wilson, among others.

Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of admission forms to the training beneficiaries which were received on their behalves by their guarantors.