As the search for a new set of selfless and compassionate political leaders, who will pilot the affairs of the country for the next four years, heats up, the people of Anambra North Senatorial Zone need look no farther than the candidacy of Mrs. Ebele Obiano, a symbol of humanitarian service, a tested and trusted ally.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate has shown exemplary leadership and service to humanity as the first lady of Anambra State between March 2014 and March 2022, a glimpse of what is to come for Anambra North when elected senator in the February 2023 general elections.
Mrs. Obiano stood out among her peers and redefined the first lady role at any level of governance; hence, the sobriquet ‘Osodieme’ (meaning one who works with her husband). For Osodieme, giving is a way of life; it is a religion. Her exploits in this regard reverberate across every nook and cranny of Anambra.
For her, “Whenever and wherever life is touched, government has succeeded.”
Osodieme’s passion for helping the needy is unparalleled. Her humanitarian and charitable milestones are there for all to see. She took responsibility for the happiness of the most vulnerable groups in Anambra and left an indelible mark.
She has stressed at different occasions her goal is of grooming economically self-reliant women, who can make positive contributions for the growth and progress of the family and the community, especially in Anambra. She is also a strong advocate of the wellbeing of the family and sustainable empowerment of rural women.
Through her Non-Governmental Organisation, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative, Mrs Obiano empowered over 4,400 women and youths by training them in new skills and provided them with equip as well as startup capital. The beneficiaries were trained in tailoring and fashion design, soap making, bakery and confectionery, hair dressing and beauty therapy, interior decoration, telephone and computer repairs at the Ayamelum Skill Acquisition Centre, Ifite-Ohwari.
Similarly, there is verifiable evidence of 22 houses she built for indigent widows as well as the treatment and management of 82 mentally challenged persons with the support of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
The children were not left out, as 100 of those with congenital mouth disorder were beneficiaries of her free cleft lip and palate surgeries. The philanthropist extraordinaire did not stop there; she went on to construct 15 modern toilets with boreholes in select rural markets to deal with the issue of open defecation. She also ensured that those engaged in cottage agriculture and petty trading were able to access micro credit from the Anambra Small Business Agency to boost their ventures.
Since its inception in August 2014, CAFE has lived up to its aims and objectives, sustaining its vision of becoming a beacon of empowerment for women and providing succour to the less privileged in Anambra.
On what helping the needy in the society means to her, Mrs Obiano said, “I get this sense of satisfaction and fulfilment when I help the needy. This is something I didn’t just start today; it is what I have been into for the better part of my life, because the Bible says ‘whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me’.
“I believe in God, and I know that this world is a sojourn. So, I want, at the end of the day, to go back home to my creator, and that means making heaven. I believe strongly that the things we are doing here will create that gateway.”
As a result of her charitable work and service, Osodieme is the recipient of several local and international awards and recognitions. She is a United Nations Peace Ambassador, a UNICEF and EU WASH Ambassador for her role in promoting hygiene and healthy environment; a winner of the Irish Red Cross Award for service to humanity, Excellence Award by Nigerian Women of Atlanta Georgia, United States 2016, among many others.
She continues to campaign for proper care of the less privileged, reduction in women-children vulnerability, as well as maintenance of the dignity of widows and physically challenged persons.
There are countless touching testimonies from many whose lives she touched and transformed, describing her level of humaneness, vision and plans for the needy, as well as her radiating love for the people, as exceptional.
A recipient of the catering training, one of her many empowerment schemes, said, “She gave us very big gas cooker with oven and cash to start the job. Since then, my children have gone to school and we are able to eat three square meals.”
Another elated recipient said at the completion of her training, “She is really Osodieme entirely. She is helping so many people, especially unemployed wives and widows. As she gathered us here, we learn a lot from her.
“From what we are learning, we will use it to grow, train our children and help our neighbours. I thank God for her efforts. She is really helping the people in need.”
On their part, the People Living with Disabilities were full of praise for the Amazon, as over 1,400 persons received prosthetic limbs and feet, while 1,800 got free wheelchairs.
“We cannot thank you enough. Our prayer is that God will continue to contend against any force contending against your administration. God will continue to bless and elevate you beyond measures, so that you will continue to serve humanity,” a man said at the time.
“We thank God for what Osodieme has been doing through CAFE. As we stated earlier, all that she is doing is borne out of the understanding she has to meet the needs of the disabled community,” another recipient of her goodwill stated.
In the words of Albert Pike, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”.
Political offices are not meant for the embezzlement of public funds or ‘living large’; it is for service to the people through honest and proper representation, which happens to be the forte of Ebele Obiano. It is a job she understands very well.”
Her experience from working for reputable institutions and corporate organisations, as well as holding sensitive positions in the course of her career, has also prepared her for the task ahead.
Between November 1991 and May 2010, she worked in various capacities in National Petroleum Investment and Management Services, one of the 11 subsidiaries of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as catering supervisor, corporate procurement officer and, finally, welfare officer. She had on several occasions represented NAPIMS as material officer in France, U.S. and United Kingdom on Bonga Field Development Project of SPDC.
A vote for Osodieme is a vote for fairness, accountability, dedication, integrity, socio-economic development, inclusiveness, equity, commitment and, above all, competence.
Mrs. Obiano has been touching lives for many years and wants to continue doing so with a seat at the Senate. Imagine her having the wherewithal to do more for her people? Anambra North, the power is in your hands. Give her the chance and mandate. She is the best woman for the job.
She will surely deliver.
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