…177 Refrigerators, Sewing Machines, Grinding Machines distributed

“This is the first time we are witnessing a thing like this in Etinan” -Beneficiaries 

By Ime Silas

Tears of joy practically flowed down the eyes of the beneficiaries of empowerment by the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) for the women and youths of Etinan Local Government Area. The event was held on Friday, 18th August, 2023 at the Late Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Compound, Uyo Road, Etinan.

The empowerment is sponsored by Hon. Bassey Etuk; one of the grandsons of the Co-founder and First President-General of Ibibio Union; Late Sampson Udo Etuk. The beneficiaries were drawn from villages in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking while presenting the items to the beneficiaries, a onetime governorship candidate on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and host; Arc. Ekong Etuk, FNIA said the empowerment was aimed at improving the lives of the people living in border communities which Etinan fell within the catchment. He added that he loved good things to reach his people hence, his reason for encouraging his nephew who sponsored the programme to ensure that Etinan people were part of the beneficiaries.

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“Most times, empowerment such as this would come to Etinan but unfortunately, they don’t get to the people. I’m not mentioning anybody but such people know how they do it in such a way that it does not get to the people. I like things to reach everyone that’s why you see these items displayed here to be shared to everyone. I wish they were more than this, I would have gone round house-to-house to ensure that everybody gets it.

“But never mind, this is just the first phase. If it doesn’t get to you or your relatives, never worry. Others are coming. When it comes, it would get to you all.

“The person who caused these things to come is my nephew. His name is Honourable Bassey Etuk. He works at the National Assembly Service Commission, Abuja. Although most of you might not know him since he hasn’t stayed in Etinan for long, but, he doesn’t forget home especially, when he has an uncle like me who would always encourage him to remember his people. Let me also clarify that this empowerment is routed through the Presidency under the platform of Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA)”.

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Arc. Etuk further stressed that the empowerment primarily targeted the women and youths of Etinan and listed the items as grinding machines, sewing machines and deep freezers.

He said “We have here grinding machines with a 6.5 Horse Power generating engine attached to each of them, sewing machines and deep freezers. Being an empowerment, you are to use it to increase your base. You remember the story that Jesus told in the Bible about the servants that were given talents by the owner of the farm. Those who made profits from them were rewarded with more. So, the main essence of this empowerment is to help you improve your economic base”

Speaking on behalf of other Village Heads and Chiefs who graced the occasion, His Highness, Eteidung Effiong Akpan Etuk of Mbioto 1 thanked the sponsor for providing the items at a time of very serious hardship in our communities, occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal.

The Royal Father also commended the host for not selling the empowerment items or withholding them for himself and members of his immediate family.

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He further praised Arc. Etuk for his transparency and impartially in selecting the beneficiaries, noting that neither political party affiliation nor family and village affinities were considered.

Some of the beneficiaries who took turns to express their deep appreciations said they were shocked to be called to come over for the items. They corroborated that they used to hear in the media only of empowerment programmes but it was the first time they witnessed, let alone benefited.

“I want to thank our father here, Arc. Ekong Etuk and the sponsor of this empowerment who is in Abuja who worked to ensure that these things get to us. Someone like me, I never dreamt of it. But as God would have it, I am one of the beneficiaries. I pray that God would bless all of them”, one of the the beneficiaries; EdoAbasi had said.

177 items consisting of fifty-nine sewing machines, fifty-nine sets of grinding machines with engines attached and fifty-nine Deep freezers were shared.