Ndifreke Jacob, Uyo.
Over the weekend, women in Ibiono Ibom local government area received financial relief from Akwa Ibom Intervention Movement (AIM), to aid them offset some farm billings.
The gesture initiated by the progenitor of AIM, Mr Jeremiah Udoh Akpan, had selected beneficiaries from the different wards smiling home with gratitude.
Also, the event described by attendees as unprecedented and historic was held at the palace of Late HRM Obong Udoh Akpan Udoh, Ibiaku Ikot Oku, Ibiono Ibom LGA.
AIM, a socio-political group founded in 2019 and duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission is fast spreading its tentacles to every part of the state with 3 LGA fully inaugurated with wards and unit coordinators; AIM founder disclosed.
According to the progenitor, the group was established with the core objective of pushing for good governance and development policies which include catering for the vulnerables and effectively alleviating poor conditions of rural dwellers at all levels.
In his opening remark, Mr Akpan who was full of appreciation to the attendees, revealed that he was moved to support the women in the area due to the biting effect of COVID-19 which has dwindled the economy and triggered harsh living condition.
Akpan disclosed that the financial relief will go a long way to offset some of their farm billings by aiding them buy fertilizers, cassava stems and other crops for planting.
While reeling out some of the achievements of the group and his personal effort, Akpan disclosed that during the heat of the pandemic, vulnerable women and some indigenes of the area were given relief materials to help cushion the effect of the lockdown.
Furthermore, he revealed that in commemorating the Easter celebration, motorcycle riders in the area were given free premium motor spirit (petrol), as part of effort to cutdown the hike in transportation.
Akpan added that plans were underway upon resumption of primary and secondary schools to distribute customized books to students in the area, adding that the vision of AIM is to meaningfully impact the society and the lives of its members.
Earlier, the former Commissioner for Science and Technology, now Chairman, Ibom Airport Development Company, Dr. Iniobong Essien ably represented by Hon. Aniekan Inwang commended AIM founder for the gesture and idea to empower people in the area.
Dr. Essien who described the gesture as ‘rare’ noted that Mr Jeremiah has set a worthy mark by replicating the good legacies of his late father, who according to Essien played a sterling role in the development of Ibiono Ibom LGA.
While expressing optimism with the group’s achievement, Essien charged the beneficiaries not to look down on the amount given but to pay attention to the heart of the giver and make judicious use of the cash.
On his part, the PDP ward Chairman, Mr Uwem Ufua lauded Mr. Jeremiah for conceiving the idea of reaching out to vulnerable people at a time where the whole world was grappling to move out of recession due to the ravaging effect of COVID-19.
He prayed for more strength on the National Coordinator of AIM, maintaining that the gesture was synonymous with the PDP and can only be initiated by a member of the umbrella party.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Councillors representing Ward 11, Hon. Gabriel Eyibio and Hon. Joseph Ebue expressed appreciation to AIM for extending the invite to members of the Ibiono Ibom Legislative Council.
They advised the women not to relent their effort in praying for the National Coordinator and the progress of AIM, maintaining that the indication showed that the group has the wings of God and spread to all part of the state.
Also, the woman leader of AIM Mrs Favour Asuquo and Mrs Ruth Edet in their message of appreciation thanked Mr Jeremiah for considering the women of the area worthy beneficiaries of the gesture. They prayed and solicited more support from the women to Jeremiah and AIM.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Abigail who was full of gratitude expressed satisfaction at the method of selection used in choosing the women and for the financial relief given them. She prayed blessings and assured that the money given them will be put to fruitful use by the beneficiaries.
The event had in attendance some illustrious sons of the area namely; Chief Udofia Akpan, Pastor Ene, Pastor Mike, Akparawa Udeme Sunday, Coordinators of AIM at both wards and unit level, Youth and children.
The event was rounded off with the distribution of the cash and cheques to the beneficiaries.