The Abia State government has placed a 106-year-old Akara seller, Ma Chidinma Eluwa, on a monthly stipend for her upkeep.
The centenarian, who is popular at Owerri Road in the Isigate area of Umuahia, Abia State capital, is also to have her business boosted by the Abia State government.
Mama Eluwa, who lost her husband some years ago, is also left with just one son still living.
But the challenges of losing her family did not discourage her, as she has continued to fry the local delicacy for her teeming customers despite her age.
On July 29th, 2023, the aged trader was spotted at her shop by the Chief of Staff to the Abia State governor, Caleb Ajagba.
The Chief of Staff, who was returning from an environmental clean-up inspection on behalf of the governor, was attracted by the number of customers that queued up to buy Mama Eluwa’s delicacy.
On inquiry, the Chief of Staff was told that the aged woman had been in the Akara business for donkey years, which instantly made the CoS pencil down her name for special government intervention after having some interactions with her.
On his return to the government house in Umuahia, the Chief of Staff recommended his special discovery to the Office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Vulnerable Groups and Poverty Alleviation, which took over the matter after carrying out more investigations about Mama Eluwa‘s history in Akara's frying business.
On 9th August 2023, Mama Chidinma Eluwa was invited to the office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Vulnerable Groups and Poverty Alleviation by Mrs Ifeoma Thomas, the Special Assistant who announced some financial interventions and business sustainability plans for her.
She was captured on National Identity Numbers, NIN system for a bank account to be opened for her for easy deposit of monthly stipends for the aged but resilient trader.
The Abia State government is also planning to boost her business through financial support, while plans are on to celebrate her next birthday and longevity.
Responding, Mama Chidinma Eluwa thanked Governor Alex Otti, his Chief of Staff, Caleb Ajagba and the Special Assistant on vulnerable groups and poverty alleviation, Mrs Ifeoma Thomas for picking interest in her.
She said that the assistance from the Abia State government would make her live more years on earth.
She advised the youths to shun crime, focus on their education as well as acquire skills to make society better.
Speaking also, the Special Assistant to Abia State governor on vulnerable groups and poverty alleviation, Mrs Ifeoma Thomas said, “We’re going to place her on a monthly stipend and also open a bank account for her. But first of all, we have gotten the Nigerian Identity Management Agency (NIMC) to capture her and her son in the NIMC register, afterwards, we open an account in her name and her brother will be in the custody of the ATM card.
“With that, we will pay her stipend into the account at the end of every month”.