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Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has joined associates and people of goodwill to express a warm felicitation over the 29th Wedding Anniversary of the former Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and his beloved wife, H.E., Dame Judith Amaechi.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Chief Eze said the two lovebirds represents a perfect blend of a responsible couple whose inclination to raising a godly home is a model for all of humanity especially those who crave to bring up their children on the tenets of godliness and a good degree of parental control.
The Media Mogul and member of APC Legacy Projects Media Team highlighted that When the news of the 29th wedding anniversary of my brother and principal, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, with my sister, Dame Judith Amaechi, broke to me some hours ago, I was a bit confused on how to celebrate this great news, a great event.
My mind went to different dimensions on how to handle this news knowing the multi-faceted nature of this family – do I tackle it from when these two lovebirds met or do I handle it from the angle of what the two went through to establish, water this union to what it is today; or do I handle it from the angle of what this family went through in attempting to reclaim their stolen or hijacked mandate when they were sent on exile. Should I even handle it at the point of their experiences as the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly or during their eight years as Governor of Rivers State? Still, do I look at their experiences in the hands of those that they have assisted or influenced that have betrayed them? Each is enough to be a book.
In my state of confusion, I counseled myself that I have done much already on promoting and propagating the ideals and vision of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. I wondered if I should not devote this auspicious opportunity to highlight the woman who is regarded as the one who made this union what it is today in support of the truism that there must be a woman behind every successful man. Amaechi, no matter the thought of any man, is a great and very successful man in any ramifications one may wish to apply in assessing success.
Besides, wives of some kings in history and wives of some leaders in the present era have left quiet records of playing roles that shaped their husband’s kingdoms or administrations.
Many like Abigail in the Bible are known to have intercepted the enemies of their husbands and negotiated safety for their lords. Some wives are known to have looked deeply into deals their husbands would have signed and pointed out hidden traps that saved both their husbands and his government.
Yet, some wives are known to have built up spiritual networks that saved their husbands from treacherous lions hidden in sheep’s skin.
It is based on this premise that I present before you in celebration of the 29th wedding anniversary of this great family this unique woman whose inputs in the making of the Amaechi Dynasty as captured in Chapter Twenty-Seven of my book titled, “Amaechi: His feats, inspirational and revolutionary leadership”
In this chapter, Eze highlighted that Dame Judith Amaechi was a former Rivers First Lady and wife of Nigeria’s former Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.
Dame Amaechi is naturally empathetic and values relationships. She appreciates people and their viewpoints and demonstrates passion and rare enthusiasm to serve humanity. These special traits and more lend credence to her competence in leadership.
During the tenure of her husband as Rivers Governor, Judith was indisputably instrumental to the giant strides he made especially, in the areas of education, health and human capacity development with special focus on gender equality.
Born on 24 December, 1970, in Enugwu Ukwu, Anambra State, Judith attended Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuloma, Port Harcourt, for her secondary education and thereafter, the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, where she graduated in Urban and Regional Planning.
Her pet project: Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI)
Amaechi launched the Empowerment Support Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), on 16 October, 2008. The NGO provides practical support and advice for women and children, particularly the less privileged. As a non-profit, non-governmental organization, was to give special attention to early child development, poverty alleviation and self-reliance for young girls and women.
During the International Widows’ Day in 2019, Dame Judith Amaechi emphasized the need for a review of some of the dehumanizing native laws and customary practices that cause distress and agony to widows, sometimes trampling on their human rights and throwing them into abject poverty.
Former First Lady and wife of late Nigerian President, Alhaja Turai Yar’Adua, while launching ESI, said that Mrs. Amaechi ha(d)s written her name in gold and that history would be kind to her.
In 2009, Mrs. Amaechi sponsored a free mass de-worming program for Rivers State children. She was a strong supporter of the Child Rights Act passed in Rivers state in 2010, aimed at preventing abuse of children.
In March 2010 she visited Israel with the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Manuela George-Izunwa, to inspect farms and discuss training in, and development of agriculture among women in Rivers State in a bid to boost their livelihoods.
In August 2010 she opened a four-week Information and Communication Technology Farm, which was to provide free computer training during the holidays to junior and senior secondary school students.
Aside providing hundreds of women with taxis, ESI also built model nursery schools in different parts of Rivers State.
The organization also trained women and young persons in different life-transforming vocations such as training in Computer and ICT, Carpentry and Joinery, Bricklaying and Masonry, Painting and Decoration, etc.
Insight into ESI: Judith Amaechi speaks
“ESI is one of the most successful NGOs in the country, a place where you can join other passionate individuals, corporate bodies, institutions, government, non- governmental organizations and international bodies in reaching out, empowering and impacting the lives of families and children in need in Africa, giving them hope and a future through your contributions, gifts and donations.
“Since 2008, ESI has charted a new course for the helpless, less privileged, the abandoned, supporting women, youth and children and providing intervention in various areas of need which include amongst others:
“Early childhood care development and education programme with over 3,500 beneficiaries in Rivers State and its surroundings.
“ESI has successfully provided entrepreneurial developments to over hundreds of women in a sustainable public transportation through the Lady Cabbies Programme.
“ESI has also provided various training programmes in vocational skills and entrepreneurial development including capacity building to over 3000 beneficiaries, helping to equip them with skills, knowledge and competences they need to succeed in their chosen fields and support small and medium size employers to boost the economy and create a qualified workforce to fill the skill gaps.
“Other areas are provision of adults mass education and literacy programmes and the Establishment of 85 schools’ tuition free in the Local Government Areas through ESI Model Nursery Schools.
“ESI has also made significant success on our Maternal Health Programme in addition to other advocacy programmes in collaboration with UNICEF and other national and international bodies.
ESI primary goal is to impact lives through various programmes that deal specifically with women, children and youths. It embarks onprogrammes which add value to members of the society and cause positive changes in their lives.
Soliciting the support of people of goodwill, Mrs. Amaechi said “by supporting us today, you will be proud to see your donations channelled towards transforming and empowering lives, giving hope and a future to that child in need.
“We hope you find the area of engagement and support you are looking for.
There is a lot of work ahead and we are determined to continue, by God’s grace, but we look forward to your supporting us in every step of the way.
Her partnership towards improved education for children through ESI
In May, 2012, Dame Judith Amaechi made a special appeal to the State House of Assembly to support and partner with the Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), to improve the educational foundation of Rivers children.
She had embarked on an advocacy visit to the Assembly to intimate the state legislators with the need to buy into ESI programmes, especially, to help infants in rural areas, and add legitimacy to their activities.
According to her, ESI had established a good number of nursery schools in various parts of the state and had launched “Adopt a child scheme”, to ensure that the cost of running the programme was made manageable.
Over 1000 children were adopted through the scheme. Mrs. Amaechi noted that the best thing to give to any child was education, and urged the House to make meaningful contributions towards the success of the ESI.
She explained that the programme recruited teachers from the local communities where the schools were located
On her part, Mrs. Joeba West, then Commissioner for Women Affairs, urged the lawmakers to see the good intentions of Mrs. Amaechi in establishing the Empowerment Support Initiative, to fill the existing gap in early child education, especially for the children of the poor.
Then Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Amaechree, assured that the Assembly would partner the NGO, to enable the organisation achieve its set objects.
Hon. Amachree said Rivers lawmakers would adopt 32 children from the schools and would assist in other aspects to ensure that their constituents benefittted from the scheme.
Aside her drive for better girl-child education, Mrs. Amaehi also craved for better health for women. Part of that was her donating mamogram cancer screening machine for women at the Churchill Health Centre in Port Harcourt.
Amaechi supports ESI
As governor, Amaechi stated that the laudable programme of the Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), informed his support for the body.
Amaechi made the declaration when he officially launched the special taxis for women. The scheme tagged, Lady Cabbies, was one of ESI’s great initiatives.
Although Amaechi never used government money to fund NGOs, a careful examination of the ESI activities and objectives convinced him that the NGO was out to reduce poverty, illiteracy, crime, while empowering Rivers people, a consideration which informed his support for the NGO to achieve its objectives.
Earlier, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the NGO, Dakuku Peterside, said the Empowerment Support Initiative was founded in 2008 with the vision of empowering Rivers people.
Peterside, who was then Commissioner for Works, highlighted the major programmes of the NGO to include the Nursery School, the Livelihood Enhancement Programmes, maternal health programes as well as the Ethics, Values and Community Rebuilding Programme.
Peterside appealed for support to enable the NGO achieve its objectives and assured that the various programmes would be sustainable.
Ibiye Ekong, the Executive Director of Skye Bank Plc, the financiers of the scheme, said the bank was already in partnership with the state government in the area of transportation, noting that the ESI Lady Cabbies scheme was part of the partnership. She, therefore, tasked beneficiaries not to disappoint and advised others to register for the scheme.
Ekong pointed out that in addition to meeting up with the weekly repayments, it would also help the women to develop a savings culture. “We are looking forward to them owning fleets of cars in the future,” she pointed out.
Dame Judith Amaechi and Holy Bible’s virtuous woman qualities
Dame Judith Amaechi is the epitome of womanhood and an exceptional wife, mother and leader, got married to her husband when he could not be said to be a very successful man, and has maintained her disposition and character as a true wife till date.
The writer of the inspired Book of Proverbs 31:10-31, as contained in the Holy Bible, must have had Dame Judith Amaechi in mind with the following verses:
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
“She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
“She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
“She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
“She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
“Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. King James Version (KJV).
Those of us who have been privileged to sit and dine with this woman of honour can easily testify that all the verses as contained above have one thing or the other in tandem with the character of Dame Judith Amaechi.
By the grace of God, through this great woman, the family of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is blessed with three very brilliant and wonderful children, Chikamkpa, Obinna and Lemchi.
Honour at home for her contributions to the girl-child
Dame Judith Amaechi was on 21st May, 2021, conferred with the Fellowship Award of the Federal College of Education(Technical), Omoku, during the institute’s 9th to 18th combined convocations. It was in honour of her contributions to human development.
The provost of the college, Dr. Emmanuel Ihenyiri, in a letter dated April 12th, 2021, to Mrs. Amaechi, stated that she was considered for the award for her role in the girl-child education through the instrumentality of the Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) Dr.Ihenyiri added that the award was the highest honour bestowed on eminent Nigerians who had distinguished themselves in their area of influence.
Dame Amaechi’s ESI had provided a tuition free education in its early child development and education in the state with 10,000 pupils graduating from the programme.The early child education also provided a meal per day to enhance nutritional and dietary requirements to enhance the intelligence quotient of the children.
Other comments on Mrs. Amaechi
Prince Tonye Princewill, a scion of the Kalabari Kingdom, who is well conversant with the deeds and philanthropic activities of this great Amazon and Mother General of the politics of Rivers State, explained her thus, “Dame Judith Amaechi is the backbone of our leader and a mother to all of us; a grassroots pastor and the real secret of his grace.
“She has a direct line to God and her primary constituency are the people without a voice. She is beautiful inside and out. But her biggest asset is her humility. No ego. Just like her husband.
To Hon. Onari Brown, another great son of Rivers State, and the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Dame Judith Amaechi is “a pillar to the family, whose food is praise and worship; a woman whose joy is helping the needy/less privileged.”
Hon. Napoleon Ukalikpe, a former Deputy Secretary of APC in Rivers State, and also former Council Chairman of Ahoada East, in his thoughts about Mrs. Amaechi said, “There are no adjectives suitable enough to qualify this Jewel in a savannah. She is a pearl that can’t be found on seas but deep in the ocean. There is a saying that men are a reflection of their homes.
“The best way to describe her is to take a tour of the study of the life of the man Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi from 1992. Her entrance to the life of this today enigma of a man changed the history of so many persons in the world especially my humble self, Napoleon Ukalikpe, who is a testimonial of the invaluable support of this great woman.
“Dame Judith Amaechi is the custodian of all that is found in the man Amaechi. CRA only radiates what Judith deposits in him. Otherwise she can be described as a no-nonsense person, a visionary, a care giver, a committed woman and above all,a woman ahead of her time.
“Let it be known that the reason CRA is not corrupt is fundamentally because there is no home to accommodate any “excess luggages”.
“Her dressing can even describe how contented she is otherwise she does not lay her hope on materialism but on what the future will bring up.
Leadership Excellence Awards: Amaechi voted 2021 Woman of the Year
Nigerians at home and in the diaspora have voted wife of the former Rivers State governor, and renowned humanitarian, Dame Judith Amaechi, as Woman of the Year 2021.
In a 14-day Leadership Excellence Awards voting by Nigerians via online platforms, monitored by the Newsmen, Mrs. Amaechi defeated three other nominees to emerge victoriously.
Mrs Amaechi beat Folorunsho Alakija, the Group Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Group, Genevieve Nnaji, veteran Nollywood Actress, and Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
She emerged the winner with 918,896 votes while the other nominees came in the following order: Genevieve Nnaji, 507,741 votes, Folorunsho Alakija, 87,855 votes, and Amina Mohammed, 70,887.
She is the Head of Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), an NGO which campaigns against HIV/AIDS, advocates the rights of women and children, and promotes gender equity and Girl-Child education.
The prestigious award, organized by IgbereTV, got the endorsement of the African Union and the African Film Institute.
It recognizes and honours outstanding impacts of leaders both in the public and private sectors in Nigeria.
The 2021 edition award presentation was held on November 2, 2021 at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
Mrs. Amaechi receives peace and humanitarian service award
As the Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Day of Social Justice 2022, wife of the Minister for Transportation, Dame Judith Amaechi, has called on proactive adoption of inclusion and equal opportunities in Nigeria as means of addressing social injustice in the country.
Dame Amaechi stated this on Thursday, 17th February, 2022 while receiving the Peace and Humanitarian Service Award in honour of her humanitarian activities through her Non -Governmental organisation, Empowernent Support Initiative, ESI.
She stated that Nigeria will be a better place if citizens are provided equal opportunities. Mrs Amaechi while delivering a lecture at an event put together by stakeholders summit on social justice said stakeholders must be intentional in adopting education and empowerment in addressing moral decades, insecurity and unemployment among youths.” We adopt education as a strategy during the wake of militancy in the Niger Delta, providing tuition free kindergarten education and provided employment,
NGO should be encouraged to complement government effort in this regard”.Mrs Amaechi frowned at parents who abdicate their responsibility to their family in search of material benefit said such negligence is already eroding family moral and values ” we Watch and listen to stories of our children involved in all manner of illicit activities just for materia benefit, we must wake up to our responsibility to our children.”
.She further enjoined Nigerian youths to acquire vocation skills set in line with the challenges of technology and digitalisation to remain relevant in the work place. “Our youths should understand the challenges of time. Covid 19 and technology have changed business model affecting employment and employability. We must retool ourselves digitally to remain relevance in work place.”
February 20 is acknowledged by the United Nations as World Day for Social Justice and the theme for the 2022 is “Achieving social justice through formal employment.”
In conclusion, this is the woman that God positioned to help his son Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to be what he is by today.and instrumental to the setting up of this great family that has become a reference to most CHRISTAIN families in Nigeria.
I pray God to continue to guide, bless, protect and grant greater and better years to this wonderful Union to enable the family fulfill not only her destiny but continue to be source of blessing to the world
I pray also that your love for each other will always blossom with every rising of the sun.
To God be all the Glory for considering me worthy to be associated with this great family.
Happy 29th Marriage Anniversary to H.E., Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and his beautiful wife, H. E., Dame Judith Amaechi.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
APC Chieftain, member of APC Legacy Projects Media Team & former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP
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