Harvest of encomiums as Imo First Lady celebrates birthday | IMO STATE GOVERNMENT

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and Gimbiya Dogara were among those who showered encomiums on Imo State First Lady, Ugo Nneoma Nkechi Rochas Okorocha during her 50th birthday celebration in Owerri, weekend.
President Buhari was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
At a colloquium and book presentation which is part of the activities to mark the 50th birthday of Imo First Lady, Mustapha said: “I was specifically called by President Buhari on two occasions to be in Owerri to honour you today. This shows that you occupy a very special place in the heart of the President. At 50, you have achieved much more than can be imagined especially through your SNARP projects and just like the Levites in the bible; you can now rest and enjoy God’s favours in your life.”
Vice President Osinbajo said: “I have always been fascinated with the quality of the philanthropy of Nneoma Nkechi Rochas Okorocha. And you will notice that I say the quality of her philanthropy because many of us do some form of philanthropy or the other; most of us want to be kind to others. But then, there are certain qualities to the sort of philanthropy that she does.
“We’ll take just two examples; the She Needs a Roof Project (SNARP) – a housing project for widows and their children, and she had built several of those homes. Today, we saw a short video of how the life of one widow, and her seven children, was impacted.
“There are many who give to widows, but it is a different level of depth and understanding of the needs of widows to mobilize resources to build decent homes for them. And there is no way you can do that without clearly understanding what is actually required.
“The other is the WODDI Wellness and Diagnostic Centre, which we opened today – a centre that focuses on preventive approach to healthcare of especially women and children. And it’s an incredibly well equipped facility, for those of us who saw it, with high calibre staff, including her own daughter.
“So, her motivation is not just a kind heart, but an understanding heart. You need a certain depth to understand the shame, deprivations and dehumanization of poverty and what to do about it.”
Wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Gimbiya Yakubu Dogara who represented wife of the President Hajia Aisha Buhari described Nkechi Okorocha as a woman with a large heart, and dependable, who delivers assignment of national interest with utmost patriotism, adding that the woman has done a lot for the less-privileged.
Chairman of the occasion, Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Seriake Henry Dickson said “This is the kind of thing we should emulate across the country, to celebrate ourselves irrespective of political differences. This is the first step towards achieving the unity we all desire. I urge well-meaning Nigerians to support the Imo First Lady”.
Governor Okorocha in his speech said the wives of governors in attendance “have demonstrated unity more than us men, I recommend that we give more positions to women in government, only then we can achieve our desired goal of building a great and united nation. Even when I quarrel with Gov. Fayose or when Gov. El Rufai abuses me, we still see their wives here bounded in love irrespective of political and cultural differences. This is our hope for a better Nigeria and this love of our wives is the pillar of our nation building”.
Nkechi Okorocha, in an emotion-laden speech, told her audience that her joy was that God has given her the opportunity to touch lives and to put smiles on the face of somebody who has forgotten how to smile.
Other dignitaries in attendance were Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Minister of Communication, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, National Secretary of APC, Alhaji Mai Mala Buru, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Deputy National Chairman of APC South-East, Chief Emma Eneh, South-West, Chief Segun Oni.
Wives of governors who were also present include Mrs. Bethy Obaseki (Edo), Dame Edith Okowa (Delta), Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu (Abia), Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Mrs. Feyi Fayose (Ekiti), Mrs. Olufunso Amosun (Ogun), Mrs. Mario Almakura (Nasarawa), Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed (Kwara), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (Lagos), Mrs. Magajiya Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Mrs. Betty Akeredolu (Ondo), Mrs. Racheal Umahi (Ebonyi).

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