Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has urged that the spirit of brotherliness among the people would be engendered if Nigerians seek to impact positively on the life of at least one person at a time, saying the entire society would be better for it due to its rippling effect.
Okowa stated this at the inauguration of Delta State Sickle Cell Referral Centre, Asaba, donated to the state by the 05 Initiative, a non-governmental organisation founded by the wife of the Governor of Delta State, Edith Okowa.
The governor said “I am glad that the 05 Initiative was founded and committed to helping one individual at a time. As Nigerians, if we impact on the life of one person positively, that person will go ahead to impact on the life of another person and within a short period, we will have a country where the people will be willing at all times to help one another.
“This exercise is coinciding with the birthday celebration of my wife; while I say happy birthday to her, I am glad that every year, she celebrates her birthday touching the lives of other people.”
Okowa, who revealed plans to celebrate his 60th birthday next month, July 2019, with the less privileged, particularly thanked his wife for having the vision to assist people with sickle cell disorder and assist the hopeless in the society as well as the donors to 05 Initiative, noting that the NGO was strictly driven by donations from individuals and agencies.
Mrs. Okowa in an address said “With the addition of this centre, it brings to 13 the total number of sickle cell clinics established by the 05 initiative in its relatively short history. The other twelve clinics are located at Ughelli, Sapele, Oleh, Kwale, Eku, Patani, Koko, Otu-Jeremi, Agbor, Orerokpe, Issele-Uku and Umunede.
“Every one of these clinics is fitted with modern equipment, quality furniture, and manned by skilled and knowledgeable personnel because, as some of us here may be aware, sickle cell patients face peculiar health challenges including episodes of pain, frequent infections, delayed growth, and vision problem not to mention the social stigma associated with the disorder in our environment.
“I am not expecting you to change the world; all I ask is that you change the world of one person. Do that and you would have accomplished a world of good.”
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN) scored 05 Initiatives high in meeting with its vision, saying, “Activities of 05 Initiative has blossomed tremendously, the scorecard is impressive; 05 Initiative is giving hope to the hopeless.
Azinge noted that the Asaba Sickle Cell Centre was the second of its kind in Nigeria and commended Edith Okowa ‘’for her commitment to leaving a legacy that will endure for all time. This will reduce high mortality rate in persons dealing with sickle cell disorder.’’
Earlier in her welcome address, the Director-General of 05 Initiative, Mrs. ‘Kevwe Agas, said in a welcome address that the NGO was established to assist the needy in the society and urged people to know their genotype.
Wife of the Governor of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki and her Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Mrs. Martha Udom, respectively, were among dignitaries who attended the historic event.