By Kemi Yesufu
Former governor of Imo State, Sen. Rochas Okorocha is in a celebratory mood ahead of his 59th birthday. Okorocha is celebrating the Icon of Service and Philanthropy Award to be bestowed on him by the Nigerian Union Of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council.
Speaking at the formal presentation of the letter of notification for the award, chairman of the NUJ FCT Council, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, announced that the Council will host an event tagged ‘Conversation With Rochas”. He explained that Okorocha will speak on a range of issues at the media roundtable. According to him, the award presentation/dialogue will be a major event which will not only attract massive media coverage, but also trigger conversations around topical issues.
Ogbeche who led the executive of the NUJ FCT Council to the event held at the Rochas Foundation Unity Centre Headquarters, said philanthropists in the mold of the senator ought to be encouraged to continue with their interventions as they are beneficial to mankind.
He said the former governor whose foundation has changed the fortunes of many will share his thoughts on governance, philanthropy, promoting unity and protecting the country’s future at the highly anticipated dialogue.
In his response, Okorocha described NUJ’s award as a great honour. He said the award and planned dialogue has kick-started his birthday celebration on a high note. In appreciation of the NUJ award, the lawmaker announced a scholarship offer for 59 indigent students to be selected by the Council.
Okorocha, who chairs the Senate Committee on Tourism said the scholarship offer to children to be picked by the NUJ is in tune with his birthday declaration to help in reducing Nigeria’s high percentage of children out-of-school. He challenged wealthy individuals, especially those from the South to pick poor students particularly from the North to fund their education. According to him, this will go a long way in reducing poverty and its attendant challenges.
“I will come and explode about how I feel about our nation and humanity”, Okorocha said in accepting to speak at the dialogue.