By Ikechukwu Iroha
She was beaming with smile as the event lasted. She was elated, jubilant, euphoric and couldn’t hide her satisfaction even as she danced to a powerful rendition by Kool & De Gang’s old school music ‘Let’s go Dancing’ ..But, who wouldn’t ? She carefully nurtured an annual event that has taken a center stage in the area of empowering women from different strata of life and resurged the hope of many who hitherto saw life from a difficult perspective.
Beyond empowerment, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu has taken the plight of women a step further by initiating bills that bother on Child right, gender based violence, obnoxious widowhood practices and discrimination against persons with disabilities. These she collaborated with civil society organizations and other several engagements with Abia House of Assembly. It’s unprecedented.
It could sound repetitious to add that she has through her pet project VICAR HOPE FOUNDATION built houses for many indigent persons across the State and empowered hundreds of women with start-up capital for trading and other businesses, but , good gestures should always be enumerated to encourage others who are willing to touch lives positively.
This year’s Abia Women August Delegates Conference ( AWADEC ) with the theme “Choose to Challenge” seeks to empower women with developmental ideas on ways to tackle challenges surrounding womanhood, happens to be the 7th edition. This ideological shift that has propelled women to explore their potentials and become mentally, economically and psychologically empowered in the society, was conceived by Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu in 2015 with the theme “ Empower Women, Empower Humanity”.
The biblical light that shines from glory to glory has continued to take a practical demonstration in AWADEC since inception.
This year’s event paraded catalogues of reputable men and women in the society: from the academic, industry and other spheres of human endeavor. The political class was led by the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu PhD and other National & State Assembly members.
This year’s event was chaired by an Industrialist, CEO of Ambrokah investment Ltd and Powertrim Nigeria Ltd. A major player in the oil and gas sector. The boardroom colossus, Chief Okey Ahaiwe, commended Mrs Ikpeazu for her kind gestures towards Abia women through scholarships, housing scheme, as well as building and renovation of various rural markets in the State. According to the IsialaNgwa born political leader and knight of St John International, Mrs Ikpeazu has transformed August meeting from mere jamboree of merriment and show of wealth to a convergence of Abia Women for the purpose of enlightenment and brainstorming for the way forward. Sir Ahaiwe agreed that Women should choose to challenge, so as to come out from their comfort zone and take decisive steps to match the demands of this critical time and season.
A powerful lecture on “Women Choose to Challenge” was delivered by Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo. Her name rings a bell in both the academic and political world.; a renowned University Don and legal guru and A former UN special Rapporteur and Dean, faculty of Law, University of Nigeria.
In Abia State, the wife of the Governor through AWADEC has set up Small businesses for women and equipped them with complete sets of equipment in their skilled areas.
AWADEC corporate Society Ltd that oversees the loan scheme which is a revolving zero-interest, zero-cost loan scheme for women traders and farmers was also launched. It is another opportunity to get business finance and re-injection of capital into existing businesses.
According to the organizers, AWADEC since inception in 2015 has continued to encourage women to pursue communal programs that will address their rural needs and capture the essence of true womanhood as well as shape their attitudes in a constantly evolving and challenging global community. It is a way to go and a way to unite women for better future….
Ikechukwu Iroha writes from Umuahia
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.