Irish Red Cross, the Anambra Irish Professionals Association (AIPA), and Anambra State Association (ASA) Women, Ireland Honour Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano
By Emeka Ozumba
Like a gold fish which cannot hide from prying eyes, the wife of the governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has attracted more international awards in appreciation of her leadership qualities and the charitable programmes of her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ). She received three awards in one night from the Irish Red Cross, the Anambra Irish Professionals Association (AIPA), and Anambra State Association (ASA) Women, Ireland. The honours were conferred on Osodieme at the 2nd Anambra Irish Professionals Association (AIPA) Annual Lecture and Awards held in collaboration with Anambra State Association (ASA) women Dublin on Friday 15th September 2017 at Radisson Blu Hotel Airport, Dublin Ireland.
In another development, participants at the event who were mainly Anambra men and women resident in Ireland after listening to a lecture Titled “Leadership & Overcoming Security Challenges: Gov. Obiano Formula as Panacea for Economic Development,” and reviewing the outstanding achievements of the governor at home in Anambra especially in the area of security of lives and property, infrastructure development, agriculture, education, accountability etc. unanimously endorsed him for re-election for second term in office with a resolve to encourage friends and relations to ensure his success at the polls in November 2017.
Presenting the Irish Red Cross award for services to humanity to Osodieme, Chairman of Irish Red Cross and a former Minister in the government of Ireland, Mr. Pat Carey stated: commended Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano on the humanitarian works carried out by Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano and the assistance and succour to people in need in Nigeria to improve their lives. He observed that her works were similar to the humanitarian works Red Cross is doing in the Republic of Benin. Consequently the Irish Red Cross decided to identity and encourage her with this award because her programmes are making positive impact on lives and improving humanity.
On his part, the Chairman of AIPA Ireland, Chief Paul Uzor, a think-thank of Nigeria professionals of Anambra State descent, based in the Republic of Ireland, said that the association resolved to confer Osodieme with the award as “Onye Anambra of The Year 2017,” in appreciation of her works for charity and humanity. This he noted is evident in the programmes of NGO which provides accommodation for widows, care for the less privileged as well assisting with free health services including surgery for children with mouth deformity among other projects that improves lives of our people.
Also in obvious show of solidarity and appreciation, Anambra Women in Ireland presented Osodieme with an award for services to humanity. The Chairperson of Anambra State Association (ASA) Women, Ireland, Mrs Jennifer Cambel, said that the association is “proud to recognize the wife of the governor of Anambra State with this award for the numerous service she renders to improve humanity by promoting hygiene in rural markets by building toilets, free prosthetics, promotion of maternal and child welfare as well as the empowerment of many indigent women.”
Receiving the awards, Osodieme, who was represented by the Managing Director/CEO of Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency, and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects Supervision and Compliance, Engr. Emeka Okoye, in her speech at the event thanked the Irish Red Cross, AIPA Ireland and the ASA Women Ireland for recognizing and honouring her efforts.
“I am pleasantly surprised at the honour the Irish Red Cross has chosen to confer on me. The award shows that the modest interventions I have been making in the lives of the less privileged through my NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) has caught the attention of concerned organizations. I humbly accept and thank you for the award. “
Thanking the Anambra Irish Professionals Association (IAPA) Ireland, for their programmes and the award, Osodieme, said; “it is quite commendable that you created this annual platform to interact and enrich your knowledge base. More so, the discussion which highlights the state of affairs at home with Anambra as case study fills me with delight that you are in touch with current developments and are undoubtedly keyed into the Akuluo uno policy of the Obiano administration.”
Osodieme also thanked ASA Women Ireland for recognizing her as one of them, assuring that the award is a big boost to her. She commended them for pooling together to share ideas that promote the stability in the homes and also for finding the time to contribute to the development and advancement Anambra State. She charged them not to relent because they are on the right part, and should sustain the link with people at home in Anambra State and Nigeria always.
Sharing her experience and involvement like many others in the making of the new Anambra into a positive reference point, Osodieme told the august assembly in Ireland, “I am privileged to have a husband who share my vision of giving succour to the less privileged in the society, and supporting the needy. By assisting the less privileged in Anambra, I support the government by ensuring that the soft issues of governance trickle down to many people who lack and often times need direction or a little nudge to pick up their lives.“
Furthermore, Osodieme highlighted the achievements of CAFÉ in the past three years, including building of nine houses for indigent widows in communities like Agulu, Alor, Amorka, Amichi, Awba-Ofemili, Enugwu-Otu, Ogbunike, Nri, and Umunya. Training of over 2600 women and youths on new skills in the following areas: Tailoring and Fashion design, Soap making, Bakery and Confectionery, Hair dressing and Beauty Therapy, and Interior Decoration, Telephone and Computer repairs, Community Health Assistant Services etc, at no cost to the beneficiaries.
CAFÉ also promotes hygiene by building modern toilets in rural markets with eleven spread across the state, and also constructed 21 boreholes in twenty-one communities across the Local Government Areas. Over 700 physically challenged persons were fitted with prosthetic limbs; 350 others received wheel chairs. CAFE assisted 35 children with mouth disorders of cleft lip/palate with free surgeries, and also cares for mentally challenged a facility in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area.
Osodieme stressed the importance of supporting governor Obiano to complete the good work he is doing which has made Anambra one of the fastest growing economies in Nigeria with new investments sprouting in the state amidst recession. She urged them to maintain their support and drive for investment at home.
Other dignitaries at the event include; The Lord Mayor of Fingal County Council, Republic of Ireland, Mary McCamley, Charge De Affair, Nigerian Embassy, Mr. Olusola Iginla and his wife, Former Mayor of Enfield, UK and Guest Lecturer, Mrs. Kate Anolue, Assistant Secretary General and Head of Asylum Services, Equality and Integration and Representative of Minister of Justice and Equality, Dr. Carol Baxter.
Pix1 (L-R): Managing Director/CEO Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency, and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects Supervision and Compliance, Engr. Emeka Okoye receiving the award for Humanitarian works presented to the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano from the Chairman of Irish Red Cross, Mr. Pat Lacey at the 2nd AIPA Lecture & Awards held at Radisson Blu Hotel Dublin, Ireland.
Pix2 (L-R): Managing Director/CEO Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency, and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects Supervision and Compliance, Engr. Emeka Okoye receiving the award for “Onye Anambra of The Year” presented to the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano for work of charity and humanity from the Chairman of IAPA, Chief Paul Uzor at the 2nd AIPA Lecture & Awards held at Radisson Blu Hotel Dublin, Ireland.
Pix3 (L-R): Managing Director/CEO Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency, and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects Supervision and Compliance, Engr. Emeka Okoye receiving the award for presented to the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano for services to humanity from the Chairperson Anambra State Association (ASA) Women Ireland, Mrs. Jennifer Cambel at the 2nd AIPA Lecture & Awards held at Radisson Blu Hotel Dublin, Ireland.
Pix4: Cross section of participants at the 2nd AIPA Lecture & Awards held at Radisson Blu Hotel Dublin, Ireland.