Raymond Ozoji, Awka
“As a little boy at All Hallows Seminary Onitsha, I watched my mother raise five children all by herself. My father died when I was still in secondary school. I was the last child and each time I had tears in my eyes seeing my widowed mother trying to provide for us as a primary school teacher. Because of this, I took a decision upon my mother’s death to have a foundation in memory of her, where myself and my wife will attend to the needs of widows in my constituency.”
Those were the soul-touching statements from Edward Obiefuna Ibuzo, the lawmaker representing Onitsha-North 2 state constituency in the 7th legislature during the second phase of his empowerment programme and constituency dialogue.
Ibuzo said taking care of widows and the downtrodden is a burning desire and an unquenchable passion for him. He recalled the demise of his father as a secondary school lad and how his mother raised him up to adulthood, noting that he saw and felt the blight cast on widows on account of their late husbands. To this end, the lawmaker maintained that with or without politics, he remained the father of widows in Onitsha-North 2 state constituency and that his widows’ foundation has come to stay.
The lawmaker said about 200 widows had various categories of empowerments. He said while some were empowered with monetary packages to enable them to start petty business, others were given sewing machines, grinding machines, deep freezers and a host of other empowerment kits.
According to him, some youths who had undergone career training under Living To Make Impact Foundation, a non-profit organization, went home with brand new tricycles (KEKE) and other gadgets. He pointed out that what he did for the people could not be quantified in monetary terms because he believes it was far above constituency project because he began in 2015 when he was inaugurated into office as the lawmaker representing Onitsha-North 2 state constituency.
Apart from the widows, youths who graduated from the constituency computer training sessions got laptop computers each while the constituency health outreach have yielded laudable results because they have unhindered access to comprehensive healthcare packages.
Ibuzo therefore emphasized, “My desire for my constituency and beyond is to build individuals from within and then empower them with cash or something else they may need in order to keep them from reverting back to being caterpillars. This way, my name is written in hearts of people and not on the marble of Earth.”
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with our correspondent expressed joy, saying that the lawmaker has continued to be helpful to them as some of them were widows and susceptible to the whims and caprices of the society.
Mrs. Ifeoma Ibegbu, a widow extolled the lawnaker’s magnanimity but urged him also to facilitate the installation of streets lights in the area.
Another widow, Mrs. Nneka Achebe who got deep freezer and some other items, testified that all that she was given were free of charge. She thanked the lawmaker for the gesture while urging other politicians to borrow a leaf from his benevolence.
The event featured presentation of certificates to graduates of the computer training programme, presentation of empowerment kits to over 200 widows, presentation of tricycles to some youths as well as a host of other activities.