Former First Lady, Omeruo Presents OSOD Project 2022 To Nnono High School
By Charity Uwakwe
The founder and President of Lady Vivian Paul Omeruo Foundation, (LAVIPOF), Evang. (Mrs.) Vivian Omeruo has formally presented her One Student One Desk, (OSOD) Project 2022 to the students of Nnono High School, in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State.
Addressing the crowd which comprised the principals of the school, students and stakeholders of Nnono community, on Monday, March 27, Lady Omeruo amidst ecstasy, thanked God for enabling her realise her dreams of ameliorating the suffering of the students.
According to the former First Lady of Kogi State, the donation of the 100 desks/chairs by the Omeruo’s alongside their friends and relations, was spurred by the piteous state of the students, who had no desks/chairs and had resorted to improvising their laps and school bags as desks while writing in class.
Narrating her experience on one of her visits to the school, she said:
“The project tagged: “OSOD 22” which means “One student one desk/chair”, was conceived in the year 2022 by me, the Founder/President of LAVIPOF (Lady Vivian Paul Omeruo Foundation). When I visited the school and found to my amazement that most students were using their laps and the back of their school bags as writing desks. It was such an unbearable sight especially coming from the background of a former school teacher as I was, propelled me to take immediate action and the result is why we are here today. To formally present the desk/chairs to the principal Mrs. Gloria Nnenna Onyekwere for the use of the students.
“For me, it was case of “I came, I saw and I conquered” by the special grace of God and I give Him all the glory. I did not accomplish this task alone. As a pensioner, I single handedly constructed and donated the first 50 desks/chairs and my next move was to appeal to Nnono sons and daughters, in addition to my friends and relations to come to my aid, to be able to complete it on schedule.
However, she explained that the presentation of the project to the school upon completion in December, 2022, was deterred by the closure of schools, holidays, electioneering campaigns and the subsequent elections.
“This project was completed in December 2022, but due to closure of schools, holidays, electioneering campaigns and elections this presentation could not hold before now”, she disclosed.
Meanwhile, Omeruo stressed the need for the students to be meticulous in handling the desks/chairs so as to enable their successors benefit from the benevolent act.
She, therefore, charged the school authorities to allocate the desk/chairs to students “with their desk numbers to ensure that any student who damages any desk would be held responsible for its repairs and replacement to enable other students to benefit in future and ensure that the students exercise great care in handling the desks/chairs and be accountable to them.
Furthermore, she prayed for God’s blessings upon the guests, parents, teachers, and other stake holders at the occasion, as well as the people who supported her through goodwill messages and prayers.
Moreso, she used the medium to appreciate other donors, some of who are in diaspora, namely;
* Engr. Dan Chinedu Okoye – Nigeria * Mr. & Mrs. Ekene Uzor – London * Mr. & Mrs. Bolabo Omongun – USA * Mazi Uche Elisha Ezumah – USA * Mazi Ikechi Ezumah – USA
* Sis. Merechi Ogbonnaya – USA
* Sis. Cecilia Onuiri – Nigeria
* Sister Vicky Barrah ‘ – Serra Leon * Barr. Mrs Kelechi & Pst. Osill – Serra Leon
* Mrs Betty Chionuma (Nee Chinke) USA
* Minister Brenda – USA
* Pst. Prince Ifeanyi Abraham – USA * Ms Ada Nwosu – USA.
Responding, the Senior School Principal, Section, Mrs. Ezinne Gloria Onyekwere, amidst ecstasy prayed God to bless the donors particularly the former First Lady for the magnanimity as demonstrated.
However, she outlined some of the challenges bedeviling the school, ranging from infiltration of the school’s land by unauthorised persons, as she pleaded for more interventions from their benefactors and other illustrious sons and daughters of Nnono Community.
“We’re grateful for this but there are a few other things we would like you to help us with. We do take our students to other schools some of which are private schools because our school doesn’t have accreditation.
“Moreso, the Community People have taken some of our lands and to build a hospital and we don’t want to get into a fight with them. It’ll be nice if you and other prominent sons of this land come to our rescue.
“Also, our ceilings are leaking badly, the Government doesn’t do anything for us anymore. Please, we need your help.
“Another thing is that the school doesn’t have funds to rent accommodations for our corpers and we pray that the host Community helps us just like other host communities do for their schools. We are very grateful to you for the much you have done already but we plead that you look into all these challenges, she pleaded.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Col. Barr. Paul Omeruo (Rtd.) Former Military Administrator, Kogi State who enjoined the pupils to be studious, as well as imbibe good discipline, reminded that he had obtained his Primary education from the said School.
Hear him: “We want to thank God for making it possible for us to be here. It has not been easy all the while. I don’t just know what you know or think about this Nnono High School but what matters is you. It depends on whether you want to achieve something here or keep companies of bad friends.
“One thing I want to open up to you as a secret is that I sat in this same hall to do my Primary 4,5 and Primary 6. And I can tell you that where I was that year is not the level I am today. And that’s why I want to tell you that you must know why you are here. In few years, you won’t be here, next few years, you are either in the University or somewhere else so don’t just think this is the final place for you.”
“So, don’t see it that this is going to be your end but know that you are going further”, he advised.
Addressing newsmen, Omeruo expressed great joy over the success of the event, noting that; “it will be a huge relief to the students. I’m happy that the event was successful and that the students got a lease of life to their schooling terms, hence something was added to them to make them feel more comfortable.”
Also, he thanked the diasporan donors who made their donations through his amiable wife, adding, “particularly those resident in the United States of America, and we pray that God will continue to make impacts on their lives. They too should be very happy that they’re helping to bring up the younger ones.
On the subsisting vandalisation and loss of property in the school, as lamented by the Principal, he said:
“we’ll get the traditional ruler of the entire two communities to intervene to actually make sure that no chaos is incurred especially as it regards people who are crossing the boundary to Nnono School compound, without authorization. We don’t envisage any cause for us to start running helter skelter.
“So, the major thing is to make sure that the situation does not escalate and then two the efforts the community has to make to bring security.”
He used the medium to commend his wife for not only sharing in the agonies and pains of the poor students but also swinging into full actions geared towards ensuring that desks were provided for each child.
“What else can I say than to thank her and encourage her, and also pray that God should continue to give her insights into areas that she can be of assistance to the community”, he concluded.
Chief Nwabuko Nwamuo, assistant Prime Minister, (who represented the Eze Oruigbo and of Ohaluda), commended the existing cordial relationship between the former Governor and his wife, as well as their benevolence towards the school, as he used the medium to appeal to other prominent sons and daughters of the land, to emulate the gestures.
“They have done noble and I pray that God touches the hearts of other prominent sons and daughters of our land to emulate this attitude. And the only way you can reciprocate this gesture is by taking proper care of these desks.
“Nnono high school has dignitaries and they are full of wisdom. Nnono depends solely on education. Her Excellency has done marvellously well by remembering us today” he added, as he advised the students to always be of good conduct and disposition.
“You all shall grow and be useful. Do not destroy School property or the roads that lead to your school”.
Admonishing the pupils, Chief Friday Eluwa, the immediate past President-General, (PG) Nnono thanked the donors and prayed for more of blessings God upon them.
“I’m grateful for the invitation extended to me this morning by Paul Omeruah and his wife.
We pray God to bless them and I call on other children of Nnono to emulate them.”
Eluwa informed that the desks were designed to last beyond an academic session, as he charged the pupils to be appreciative of the their benefactors and at the same time, take adequate care of the desks, which according to him, are geared towards improving their learning environments.
“For the students, it’s left for them to protect these desks with the highest level of their integrity. These desks were not built to serve for just an academic session but is designed to serve this community for a very long time. So, I encourage them to ensure that these desks are properly taken care of so it would serve their successors. At the same time, they should not hesitate to report anyone seen destroying them”, he advised.
Corroborating, the youth leader of the Community, Mr. Godwin and the Senior Prefect, Ewurum Anthony Ugochukwu, thanked the donors for giving the school a facelift, and assured that the students would be methodical in handling the desks.
Among the women leaders present were; Mrs. Veronica Otti, Principal Junior Secondary School, the head of Nnono women, Mrs. Nwanyioma Atuononwu who was represented by the Secretary, Nnono women, Mrs. Ihuoma Sunday, Mrs. Salome Ubani, a representative of Umuosoru, Mrs. Godwin Nwosu, a representative of Nnono Etiti, Mrs. Ugonma Umenwa, among others.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of a book, titled: Just One Mistake’, authored by Sir Friday Ndu Eluwa, the immediate past PG, to the students, to the students by the former first lady, titled: ‘Just One Mistake’, authored by F. NDU Eluwa.