By Abuchi Onwumelu
The number 88 Ziks Avenue Fegge, Onitsha, in Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State was a beehive of activities last Wednesday as teachers, parents, guardians, lovers of education, politicians, leaders of thought, executive of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Onitsha South, stakeholders trooped out en masse to witnessed the presentation of 1st term scholarship cheque to all the beneficiaries of Hon. Patrick Paddy Aniunoh Education Foundation.
The beneficiaries numbering over one hundred were on ground with their parents and guardians to receive the largese made available by the member representing Onitsha I State Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Patrick Paddy Aniunoh (Ochudo). The cheques ranging from 35,000 and above were issued by the lawmaker to the each of the beneficiaries.
It was indeed a moment of joy and satisfaction as many parents and guardians were seen sharing tears of joy as well as praising and thanking God for the gift of Hon. Patrick Paddy Aniunoh.
While other lawmakers were busy contesting over who occupies the leadership of the House of Assembly, Hon. Aniunoh was seen reliving many parents and guardians of huge financial burdens through his scholarship programme which he instituted in the year 2015.
The epoch-making event which started with an opening prayer and breaking of kola nut had people from all walks of life in attendance notable among whom were the chairman, APGA, Onitsha South, Chief Peter Ikechukwu Mofus (Ezeoba); the former APGA Chairman in Onitsha South, Chief Slyvester Ezeokenwa; the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Oliwarren Associates Limited, Chief Celestine Olisah Aniunoh; Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Liaison, Hon.Barr Emmanuel Chibuzo, among others.
Presenting the cheques totaling over 10million naira to the beneficiaries, Hon. Aniunoh who is the House Committee Chairman on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) said his target was to award scholarship to over 700 pupils in Onitsha South I before concluding his second term as a legislator.
According to Aniunoh, the education scheme started in 2015, noting that the feat had earned him the most education friendly legislator by Onitsha South I constituents and had also endeared him to the people's hearts, adding that he would continue to improve on the gains made so far.
The Umuoji Igwulube Okodu born politician assured his constituents of more goodies, even as he urged them to vote massively for all APGA's candidates in the forthcoming general elections.
'I have other Constituency projects to my credit such as sinking of boreholes, mounting of transformers, building of classrooms blocks, empowerment, job provision, facilitation of admission, payment of school fees, attracting of executive government's presence to my constituency which led to the rehabilitation of many roads in Fegge,' he said.
In their separate speeches, the chairman APGA Onitsha South, Chief Peter Ezeoba Mofus; former APGA Chairman Onitsha South LG, Chief Slyvester Ezeokenwa and Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Liaison, described the event as first of its kind, noting that Hon. Aniunoh had made the exercise a continuous one.
The trio, said that Hon.Patrick Aniunoh had carried out the exercise uninterruptedly since 2015, even as they said that none of their past representatives could do what Aniunoh did for them in the areas of education, empowerment, stomach infrastructure, among others.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to Fides pleaded with Onitsha South I constituents to support Hon. Patrick Aniunoh for second term to enable him carry on with what they described as good work.