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Thursday, April 18, 2024

SIGN OF HARD TIMES IN EBONYI: STAMPEDE FOLLOWS SENATOR’S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM

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By Uche Ogbonnaya

AS part of the strides taken to grant dividends of stewardship and democracy to the people of Ebonyi South senatorial district, distinguished Senator Micheal Ama Nnachi of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), recently empowered the people by giving different items for their socio-economic uplift, which included tricycles, motorcycles, hairdressing and barbing gadgets/equipment, movable fish ponds, bags of rice and assorted condiments, cash and other gifts.

The empowerment occassion which took place in the magnificent architecture of the Senator in Itim-Edda, Afikpo South LGA attracted people from all walks of life, who included the former Secretary to the Federal Govt; Senator Ayim Pius Anyim, who were witnesses to the wanton distribution of economically elevating materials, to enhance the living of the people.

There were so much to eat and drink; just as there were surplus political/leadership bigwigs and industry stalwarts to meet. The venue was such that presented the confluence of the who-is-who in Ebonyi state.
But shortly after the major presentations were made, and after most dignitaries had left; a scenerio that seemingly reflected the sorry socio-economic state of the people played out, as some groups of youths, men, women who besieged the ground of the Senator’s Largesse, became uncontrollable and violently began to scramble for the mini packs of rice and condiments loaded in the expanse of land that forms part of the residence of their benefactor.

It became a stampede of some sort as the desperate indigenes dragged the items. The situation drew the irk of the private security men who comprised of youths, who began to prevent them from escaping with the items they forcefully carted from where the organisers heaped them; situation which forced them to barricade the main entrance to the mansion.
Infact, at a point, women clad in their traditional wrappers and blouses had to be subjected to a thorough search before they were allowed to go out with their hands in the air. The same thing happened to the men, as the guards recovered most of the items and returned them to base.

Many a spectator wondered if some recipients of the empowerment scheme did not lose their benefits in the fiasco which made the occasion lose the colour it started with.

All these happened while the senator was inside entertaining some other guests. The fear of some of the eyewitnesses was that the situation might result in a huge fracas, but it never did.

Soon after, those who still had their mini bags of rice and other goods were seen trekking down the slope and ascending the hill to get back to their homes.

The empowerment scheme was part of the campaign promises of the senator. And those who moderated the distribution prayed for the beneficiaries, wishing them luck as they use the lifeline goodies to become better in life. In same vein, prayers were rendered for the distinguished Senator and his lovely wife who was all smiles as the people received their gifts.

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