Wife of the Akwa Ibom State Governor and founder of Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP), Mrs. Martha Emmanuel has reasoned that people in the state living with disabilities should not be discriminated, saying that such persons have unharnessed talents embedded in them and needs encouragement to attain their full potentials.
Mrs. Emmanuel was speaking when she paid a visit to the Special Education Centre, Mbianbong Etoi, Uyo, where she donated food items and relief materials worth millions of naira in the spirit of Easter.
She encouraged the students of the centre to imbibe the “I can do spirit”, shun self-pity and rise to their faith of greatness as captured in the dakkada creed adding that there is ability in their disability. She charged them never to see themselves as being inferior, but rather look forward to the future with great hope.
While expressing her appreciation to the principal and staff of the institution for their commitment, passion and the fear of God to groom these special children, Mrs. Emmanuel promised to restructure the boarding facility to accommodate the rising population of the students.
Earlier in her welcome address, the principal of the school, Pastor (Mrs.) Deborah Benjamin expressed gratitude to the governor’s wife for her magnanimity to the students whom she said are most time segregated by their loved ones, praying for God’s continuous blessings upon her.
She highlighted the categories of persons in the center to be the visually impaired, the physically challenged, the mentally challenged, the speech and hearing challenged, and those with Autism and the Cerebral palsy. She also used the platform to intimate the Governor’s wife on the challenges facing the school to included ; lack of school bus, unavailability of an audiology laboratory, inadequate medical care, lack of assembly hall, insufficient classroom blocks, need for training and re-training of staff.
In a goodwill message, the Commissioner for Education, Elder Aniekan Akpan thanked the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for providing funds to manage the center saying education remains the needed platform to help the students utilize their innate abilities. He also expressed his gratitude to the governor’s wife for not alienating the children and always being readily available to support them.
Elder Aniekan mentioned that the students were excelling in their academics, sometimes even better than their counterparts in a normal school, while encouraging them not to allow their impediment to deter them in aspiring to be great in life.
The permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Mr. Ekan-abasi Ubong thanked the governor’s wife for the deep interest she has for the less privileged and vulnerable people in the society, stressing that this interest is borne out of sincere compassion for the vulnerable.
The items donated included bags of rice, beans, toiletries, create of eggs, cartons of milks, custards etc.