By Jude Atupulazi
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has commissioned a 250-bed capacity female hostel in Community High School, Akwaeze, Anaocha Local Government Area.
The project was built and donated by Chief Ikenna Okafor, the founder of Nzekwuabuo Foundation.
The Governor also laid the foundation stone for the male hostel and inspected the equipped science laboratories, an E-library, a multi-purpose hall, an ICT hub, and a 60 KVA diesel-powered generator donated by the foundation.
Speaking shortly after performing the function, Governor Soludo commended Chief Okafor for what he described as his great initiatives, describing him as a great son of the soil, who was not only a blessing to the people of Akwaeze but to Anambra as a whole.
‘We have come to celebrate you while you are still alive because you are living a life with purpose,’ he said.
Governor Soludo further praised him for his philanthropic efforts, including his work at Peter University, Achina.
‘You are giving back to the people, all of the resources and wisdom that God has blessed you with.
‘I use Ide Akwaeze as a point of contact to reach out to other great Ndi Anambra.
‘More than 75% of our non-land assets are domiciled outside the state. We have made the conscious decision to build our homeland in order for it to be livable and prosperous.
‘Anywhere you live outside the state, you are an economic refugee and this is one of the reasons I ran for governor of this state.
‘I have been encouraging great men and women of Ndi Anambra to return to their villages and adopt a school since 2010.
‘To put my words into action, I went to my village and adopted a primary school, providing free and high-quality education, while paying the teachers’ salaries which has been a rewarding experience for me. I’ve been doing this for over twelve years,’ Soludo stated.
He described the project as long-lasting and described Okafor as paying to serve.
‘You have no idea how many destinies you have changed by the children you see here today being moulded. You never know what will become your legacy, but the seeds you plant today will bear fruit tomorrow. Education is the foundation of everything,’ said Soludo.
The governor encouraged Ide Akwaeze to do more as, according to him, God was not tired of blessing him. Soludo advised Okafor to establish an endowment fund for his foundation so that his ‘good work will outlive him and his generation.’
He urged other well-meaning Ndi Anambra to imbibe what Ide Akweze was doing.
‘If God has blessed you, return it to Him. We will not take all of our wealth and resources with us when we depart this world,’ Soludo stated.
In his address, Chief Sir Ikenna Okafor stated that the Students’ Hostel Building was handed over to the Anambra State Government in continuation of his foundation’s goal of having modern schools, beginning with primary and secondary schools.
Chief Okafor said that one of his special interests was education, which, he believed, was the best gift anyone could give to the youth because it liberated people from mental slavery.
He disclosed that additional computers and books would be provided to Community High School, Akwaeze and donated a vehicle to Anaocha Security Group.
In their separate speeches, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, and the Chairman, Anaocha Local Government, Hon. Gerald Ozo, said the people were pleased with what the Governor was doing for them and thanked him for the numerous projects he had undertaken in the state since inception.
The member representing Dunukofia, Njikoka and Anaocha Federal Constituency, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo; Principal Secretary to the Governor, Barrister J.P.C. Anetoh; the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor; Commissioner for Education, Prof Ngozi Chuma-Udeh; the Commissioner for Special Duties, Barrister Sly Ezeokenwa, and others, attended the event.