Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Indigenes of Ogidi community in Anambra State residing in North America have given a lifeline to five daughters of the community to pursue their choice courses in the university.
Under the auspices of Ogidi Inwele North America (OINA), the beneficiaries received cash awards of N150,000 each with a promise that they would get more as they progress in the university, while new students would also be enrolled into the scheme.
In a brief presentation of prizes to the beneficiaries in Ogidi community recently, president of OINA, Chief Emeka Ebo, expressed gratitude to the OINA Education Programme Mentorship Committee, led by a university don, Prof. Ogo Ibeneme.
Ebo noted that the scheme was conceived as an educational intervention programme from the Ogidi people in North America as a comprehensive programme, for the benefit of the people.
Describing education as the greatest investment and the bedrock of any society, he noted that OINA was determined to make a positive difference in the lives of the Ogidi youth/children, noting that such intervention has been designed as a long-term annual project.
The president charged the beneficiaries to make OINA proud by maintaining an excellent academic record in all their undergraduate training. He promised that OINA would always make funds available.
He stated that adequate notices were put out for the entries to encourage many students to benefit from the pilot scheme.
A community leader, Chief Sam Mendu, who witnessed the presentation of the scholarship awards to the beneficiaries, charged them to represent the ‘Best Eleven’ for the community so that the sponsors would be motivated to do more for them. Mendu noted that the initiators had given the beneficiaries wings to fly academically despite the economic crunch in the country.
Traditional ruler of Ogidi, Igwe Alex Onyido, described the gesture from OINA as a novelty in the community. He averred that it was the first of its kind in Ogidi.
He said he was delighted that the group from North America was ready to sponsor candidates in other areas like nursing, pharmacy and other professional courses from which a lot can be achieved for the community.
The traditional ruler prayed for more blessings on the initiators while also emphasising to the beneficiaries the need to make the community proud by striving for the best at all times.
“Children are the replicas of their parents and vice versa. To whom much is given much is expected. The prayer of every parent is to also raise children who will do greater exploits. I am happy to see this happening at this point in our community’s history and such noble gestures should be emulated. This will go a long way to engender a positive educational development in our community and I commend the initiators for this. I pray for more blessings on the initiators so they can do more for our people,” the traditional ruler said.
Chairman of the OINA Education Programme Mentorship Committee, who organised the selection process, Prof. Ogo Ibeneme of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, noted that the committee did a painstaking work before arriving at the five best beneficiaries.
He said the team had other academics and professionals like Prof. Ada Sam Omenyi, Dr. Amaka Okeke, Chief Isaac Okafor, Dr. Lizzy Osisioma and the famous Nollywood actor of Ogidi origin, Bob Manuel Udokwu.
Ibeneme said the committee got more than 100 entries at the first stage before it eliminated those who did not meet the criteria. The group finally picked 15.
It was the 15 candidates that wrote the exams, by which the last five were selected.
The beneficiaries, now christened OINA Ambassadors, are Obiegbu Chimeluogo, Evangel Onwuegbusi, Chidimma Muanya, Emegwaoko Fransisca and Obiegbu Chukwudalu.
Obiegbu Chimeluogo, who spoke on behalf of others, promised to be a shining star in the university.