Determined to alleviate the sufferings and hardship faced by widows and the less privileged in the society, a philanthropist, High Chief Ateke Tom, has empowered over 500 widows and less privileged in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The empowerment scheme, was organised by Ateke Tom as part of programmes put together to commemorate his 54th birthday celebration in Okrika, last Friday.
Speaking at the occasion, High Chief Ateke Tom, said the gesture was to impact positively on the widows who were most vulnerable in the society, adding that widows were faced with a lot of challenges as a result of the death of their husbands.
High Chief Ateke Tom is also the Sekuro 1 of Niger Delta stated that he has passion for philanthrophy in order to help humanity especially the less privileged in the society, adding that the needy in the society deserved assistance from the fortunate ones in the society.
According to him, it was his concern against injustice that necessitated the fight for the liberation of the Niger Delta region at a time when people were raped and humiliated in the region.
“It was when people were raping women and young girls in this area that I raised a vigilante group to fight against such inhuman treatment, which led to the liberation of the Niger Delta region”, he added.
He thanked the Almighty God for giving him the opportunity to impact lives positively, and assured that he will not relent in his quest to add value to people’s lives, especially the less privileged in the society.
Also speaking, a popular movie star, Mrs Patience Ozokwo, lauded the celebrant for his commitment in bringing happiness to the widows, adding that the gesture has shown that he was the man for all people.
She used the opportunity to call on well-to-do men to emulate Ateke’s gesture to care for women, especially the widows in the society in order to give them a sense of belonging.
In his remarks, the Dean of Students Affairs, Rivers State University (RSU), Dr. Isaac Zebibipi, who represented the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Blessing Didia, described the celebrant as a philanthropist and societal builder, adding that the state university will continue to partner with him on his various human empowerment programmes.
He used the opportunity to express the institution’s gratitude to High Chief Ateke Tom for his various empowerment programmes with the institution as well as other scholarships awarded to students of the institution.
The empowerment items include rice, clothes, Knor cube, beverages, and noodles, among others.
Highpoint of the event was prayers by the widows for God’s guidance and protection for High Chief Ateke Tom.
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Author: Akujobi Amadi