By Lawrence Enyoghasu
Abimbola Fashola, wife of Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that, while her husband was serving as the governor of Lagos State, he mandated her to take custody of three surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Okwuchukwu, who were victims of the 2012 Dana Air crash in Lagos State.
Speaking at the weekend, at the Heritage Homes Orphanage’s donor appreciation dinner, Mrs. Fashola said when Joel, Chisom and Esther were brought to the house, her first instinct was, “They should be taken to the secretariat, but I received a call from my husband that I must take care of them.
“Fear gripped me because I didn’t know where to start; there was difference in language and orientation, but I started from somewhere and today I am happy with what I have done.”
The former First Lady of Lagos State, who was the special guest of honour and the grand patron of the home, added that she would not relent in her support for the home until it becomes the best in the country.
“We need to stop the adoption stigma, if we want our country to move forward. We need to start building a positive mindset towards everything, to see gain in pain,” she said.
Former First Lady of Anambra State, Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi, on her part, urged the society not to see helping the poor as the burden of the government.
“I believe that every child deserves a home. So, if everybody can contribute their own little way, I am sure there won’t be so much burden on the children,” she said.
Meanwhile, the head pastor of Trinity House and chairman of Heritage Home Orphanage, Pastor Itua Ighodalo, while delivering his welcome address, thanked all donors and workers at the home for their selflessness and sacrifice, and urged them to keep up the good work: “Why we have gone so far is because of you, and for that we thank you. It is very important that we accept this vulnerable children; we need to care them and stop the adoption stigma.”