Ifeanyi Okechi, Enugu
For the whole of last week, the people of Awgu in Enugu state were still singing praises of their representative in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Toby Okechukwu.
Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, had constructed two classroom blocks and also revamped two others; sponsored 590 students for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). As part of the package, he further sponsored a free medical mission expected to benefit at least 10,000 of his constituents.
It was indeed a momentous occasion at St. Vincent’s College, Agbogugu, when the state governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, led a large entourage to inaugurate the classrooms built by the Toby Okechukwu Foundation and attracted by the lawmaker.
As Governor Ugwuanyi performed the memorable function at Agbogugu, he applauded the lawmaker for impacting positively on the lives of his constituents.
Then, one striking thing happened; he recognised the efforts of a Parents Teachers Association (PTA) teacher in the school, Mr. Chinedu Ani who had worked assiduously to ensure the successful renovation of the school by the Toby Okechukwu Foundation and immediately, offered him permanent teaching appointment with the state Government.
“This is the kind of people we need, I will keep rewarding people that do so”, Ugwuanyi stated.
In his remarks, President General of the Federation of Agbogugu Autonomous Communities (FAAC), Chijioke Udeh, said that the two classroom blocks were in shamble before the lawmaker’s intervention, noting that it made the school lose its dignity and popularity, because many students transferred to other neighbouring schools. He added that this made the population of the school from JSS1 to SSS3, decline drastically to less than 100.
He thanked Okechukwu saying that because of his intervention; the school was already bouncing back, as the population had risen to more than 600 students.
The principal, staff and students of St. Vincent’s Secondary School also showered praises on their benefactor.
Still in the area of educational support, Okechukwu also presented cheque of N159, 500 to each of 59 public secondary schools in Aninri-Awgu-Oji River Federal Constituency, for the registration of 10 students each for the SSCE.
The House Minority Leader, who assured the schools of his unending support said: “We will always do our best to encourage education, because that is how you discover the past; leave your present; and then overcome your future”.
The Foundation’s partnership with Doctors on the move Africa made a huge success of the medical outreach. Its Director, Dr. J. Kigbu, said that the medical team will be at Mother of Mercy Hospital, Ehe-Awgu for 11 days, noting that their target was to see at least 1,000 patients every day, on cases like fibroid, cataract operations, ultrasound scans, adding that they were also giving free reading glasses as well as free laboratory tests.
Earlier in a Mass, Catholic bishop of Awgu diocese, John Okoye, linked the nation’s major problem to bad education, illiteracy and not corruption; while tasking all leaders to invest more in education.
According to him, “Illiteracy was the cause of the civil war in Nigeria, and the war also dragged education to the mud; schools were destroyed then, if education is taken seriously, such thing won’t happen again”.