Owerri – The Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Imo State has honoured the wife of Imo State Governor, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha for her outstanding achievements in assisting indigent widows in the state.
Mrs Okorocha through her Non-Governmental Organisation, She Needs a Roof Project (SNARP) constructed 174 two-bedroom bungalows for indigent widows spread across the 27 local government areas of Imo.
Presenting the award presentation Wednesday night in Owerri, Alhaji Waheed Odusile, the National President of NUJ said that the union was impressed with the record of Okorocha’s wife in uplifting the downtrodden in the society.
“When we received the letter that the Correspondents Chapel of NUJ Imo State wants to give award to Her Excellency due to her achievements in constructing bungalows for the widows, the union conducted investigations before confirming the letter.
“Without mincing words, the national leadership of NUJ, Imo State Council of NUJ endorsed this award and is behind the Correspondents chapel for this well deserved honour to the first lady of Imo, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha,’’ he said.
Odusile, who was represented by Mr Chris Ishiguzo, the Vice President NUJ South-East urged other public officials to emulate Okorocha’s wife to help tackle poverty.
Okorocha’s wife was presented with Most Outstanding Governor’s Wife Award for providing shelters to the widows across Imo.
Mr Chinedu Offor, the member representing Onuimo constituency in Imo State House of Assembly commended Okorocha’s wife for her genuine love and compassion for the needy.
Offor, a correspondent of Voice of America before joining politics in 2011, said “throughout 15 years I worked for VOA, I covered activities of presidents, governors and top public office holders, none has shown succour to the needy like Okorocha’s wife.’’
He said that the governor’s wife achievement which according to the lawmaker “eliminates the obnoxious widowhood practices is worth presenting her with noble peace prize.’’
Mrs Nkechi Okorocha, who was visibly happy, expressed delight at the award, especially coming from the media, one of the most critical groups in the society.
“I did not know much about this award until the delegation from the Correspondents Chapel visited my office to give me details about the motive behind this award this afternoon.
“They insisted that the award is apolitical just like the selection process of building bungalows for the widows is apolitical by SNARP and I sincerely cherish this award,’’ she said.
On the reason for constructing houses for widows, the governor’s wife said that it was a covenant she made with God on the day the governorship election results for Imo were announced.
“While the result was being awaited, I encountered God in a trance and assured Him that should my husband win this election, I will provide shelter to the homeless, and by the grace of God from 2011 to date, I have constructed and furnished 174 two bedroom bungalows for the widows,’’ she said.
Mrs Okorocha said that even after leaving office as the first lady of Imo, she would continue with helping the needy, especially providing shelter to those living in dilapidated houses.
The governor’s wife said that encouraging good deeds by the media was a step in the right direction for development in Nigeria.
Mr Athan Agbakwuru, the state Chairman of Correspondents Chapel said that the union’s decision to honour Okorocha’s was to let her know that “the media is impressed with her achievements’’.
The Secretary to Imo State Government Mr George Eche and Mr Obinna Nsirim, the Commissioner for Information were among the dignitaries that attended the event.