Buguma City, the headquarters of Asari-Toru LGA in Rivers State came alive as five (5) stalwarts of Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI), a grassroots centred mobilization and sensitization non-governmental organization, embarked on a 3-day Massive Grassroot Empowerment Programme, which lasted between Saturday, 14th October, 2017 and Monday, 16th October, 2017.
A brief run down of the modality of the grassroot empowerment programme is thus:
1. Alabo Thorpe Tariah made use of the opportunity provided by the empowerment programme to touch the lives of some community men by giving out N100,000 each to 100 men;
2. Comr. Ibisobebo Wokoma (a.k.a Doctor) rewarded 3 residents with car gifts, handed over documents for land property to a resident, distributed building materials, barbing equipment and cash gifts to over 100 persons;
3. Comr. Telema George (a.k.a Zaga) provided N100,000 each for 100 enterprising young people who want to go into business;
4. Comr. Asitoa Charles (a.k.a Omema) empowered 100 community youths who are already into business ventures to build up their capital;
5. Mrs. Siya Eferebo handed over N100,000 each to 100 young girls and women in the area.
In a bid to also celebrate their own, the five sponsors of this empowerment exercise also extended this largesse to some members of the organization. Officers and members who benefitted went home with different amounts of cash gifts and other incentives.
The exercise which was colourfully flagged off on Saturday, had in attendance the Vice-Chairman of PDP Rivers West Senatorial District , Chief Odiari Princewill, who doubles as the leader of GDI in the LGA.
Other dignitaries present to add colour and grace to the flag-off event were Hon. Granville Tekenari Wellington, JP, the member representing Asari-Toru Constituency 1 in the Rivers State House of Assembly; Hon. Orolosoma Amachree, former leader of Asari-Toru Legislative Assembly and Alabo Thorpe Tariah, the leader of PDP/GDI in Ward 6, Asari-Toru LGA.
The fifty million naira (N50,000,000) economic empowerment which was targeted at providing capital outlay and improving the capital base of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the Local Government Area was launched in the multipurpose hall of the Asari-Toru council secretariat.
The empowerment exercise which continued till Monday, 16th October, 2017 recorded a total number of five hundred and fifty (550) beneficiaries.
Thousands of residents took to the streets to express their joy over this benevolent and philantropic gesture of the Pro-Wike group. Native songs of praise and celebration complimented with traditional dances steps, only seen during very special festivals, were done to show how thankful and elated they were.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Chief Princewill lauded the GDI stalwarts who taught it necessary to empower the people of the area by encouraging them with start up capital to venture into small and medium businesses ,which is the backbone of every thriving economy.
In so doing, he underscored the need for all supporters and followers of the Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to emulate and imbibe his unparralled passion for grassroots empowerment and movement.
“To show that we are indeed loyal and true supporters of His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, we need to continually replicate the love and burning desire of His Excellency in developing and improving lives of the common people at the grassroots.
“With what have happened today, we will begin to experience an all round turn around in the economy of Asari-Toru LGA, which will in the long run, boost the economic profile of Rivers State; engage the youths thereby curbing criminality and providing employment, engagement and empowerment for our people”, he said.
In the same vein, Hon. Wellington charged the people to keep faith with the Gov. Wike led administration and to judiciously grow the capital provided them into a colossal capital base, while encouraging them to invest in the LGA to blossom the economic fortunes of the area.
He said: “If God can use men to favour you at such a time when the year is about winding up, then there is every reason to steadfastly have faith in God.
“Your support and prayers for the Gov. Wike led state government will continually be rewarded. Asari-Toru people’s support for our amiable governor has thus far attracted infrastructural projects, appointment of our sons and daughters to juicy positions of trust and massive youth and women capacity development.
“For those bankrolled this empowerment exercise, it is my prayer that our good Lord replenish your purses and uplift you in your personal and political lives. You all have once again shown that the people-oriented and empowerment blood of the New Rivers Vision family runs in your veins.
“With the sustenance of economic empowerment and provision of soft loans to support businesses in our land, Asari-Toru LGA will in no distant time become the economic hub and Dubai of Rivers State.”
Overtime, Asari-Toru LGA has strongly been adjudged as an unwavering support base of the Rivers State governor. The governor’s foot soldiers in the LGA reinstated and re-emphasized this fact by extending and replicating the goodwill of the state governor to their people at the grassroots.