By Efemena Purity.
The Governor of Delta State, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa has lauded 05 Initiative, founded by his wife, Dame Edith Okowa, for its contributions to the building of a stronger Delta, especially in touching the lives of the people in various ways, including healthcare.
Okowa gave the commendation at an Appreciation Dinner organised by 05 Initiative to honour its supporters on Saturday night at the Event Centre, Asaba.
He expressed joy over the number of lives 05 Initiative had touched in one way or the other over the last eight years and publicly thanked his wife for her vision to help the poor and the vulnerable.
According to Governor Okowa; “I truly want to publicly thank my wife for the great job that she has done by partnering the private sector to make this impact on humanity, especially in the healthcare of our people.
“The 05 Initiative opened 23 sickle cell clinics as at today, to help tackle our healthcare challenges.
“If we can all impact on people around us like the 05 Initiative has done, maybe starting with your next door neighbour or anybody you find around to help, I am sure that Delta and Nigeria will be a better place than what we have today.
“So it’s my prayer that we all learn that any assistance you give to the less-privileged, you are giving that assistance to God. God is the great rewarder of whatever we do. I pray that the 05 Foundation will continue to grow.”
He noted that every amount spent by 05 Initiative was sourced from donors and the private sector, and advised all those posting malicious information on the social media and petitions against the 05 Initiative to desist from such acts.
“I must appreciate all the partners of 05 Initiative, particularly the donors, both the big and the everyday donors.
“I am proud that every single outreach and project they have done has been with the funds from the private sector.
“Unfortunately, there are still persons that do not understand the workings of the 05 Initiative. And rather than appreciate what they do, these persons post all kinds of things in the social media. Such things can be disheartening,” he stated.
Earlier, the wife of the Governor and Founder of 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, had disclosed that the Initiative was birthed and anchored on the bible verse of Matthew 25:35-36, which talks about reaching out to the poor and vulnerable in the society.
She said that the Initiative recently inaugurated a clinic at the Correctional Center in Ogwashi-uku, adding that no fewer than 53,100 persons had received free eyecare services through direct intervention of the Initiative.
The first lady appreciated great donors and partners, including MrJim Ovia of the Zenith Bank group and Mr Gabriel Ogbechie, Chairman of Rainoil, describing them as worthy partners in the fulfilment of the divine mandate.
She announced that the Initiative would after May 29, 2023, become a Foundation that would continue to cater for the needy.
In their goodwill messages, the wives of the Governors of Edo and Bayelsa, Mrs Betsy Obaseki and Mrs Gloria Diri, who also doubled as the representatives of the Forum of Governors’ Wives, extolled the good job done by the 05 Initiative.
In her words, Mrs. Obaseki stated that ‘This is what service to our country men and women is all about; a life of impact to other people. All the governors wives are proud of what our sister has done with her foundation.”
Dr. Jane Ibuaku who represented the Medical Director, of the Federal Medical Center, Asaba stated that “Dame Okowa has been paying bills of those who are not able to take care of their bills at the hospital.
“One of such cases was when she came to the rescue of a family who had quintuplets and could not pay the bills.”
Present at the appreciation dinner was the Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and his wife, the deputy governor-elect, Sir Monday Onyeme and the wife, wives of the governors of Edo and Bayelsa states, Mrs Betsy Obaseki and Mrs. Diri, among other dignitaries.