By James Ibechi
Philanthropist and Chairman of Alochu Foundation, a Benue State-based charity organization, Odochu 1 of Ukpa, Chief Francis Ikpobu Alochu, has again been recognized for his outstanding contribution to the socio-economic wellbeing of Igede nation.
The latest recognition came from the World Harvest Church of God in Christ,situated along COE Road, Ogengeng Ukpa, Oju LGA, where the Merit Award was conferred on him and two other illustrious sons of Igede nation.
The other sons were Rt. (Hon) Samson Okwu, House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Airforce and Pro. Ode Emmanuel, educationist cum philanthropist.
The church programme had as its theme “Special Thanksgiving Merit Award” in honour of three illustrious sons of Igede nation.
The host, Bishop Dave Agada, predicated Alochu’s award on his selflessness, love and care for the downtrodden and less privileged members of the society including the recent historic empowerment of Igede widows and offer of scholarships to indigent students in the area, among other development projects he had executed in Igedenation.
Similarly, Bishop Agada said Prof. Ode’s efforts in trickling down development to Igede nation in the area of education and health, where he had made healthcare and education costs affordable to the rural poor, earned him the church recognition.
Preaching earlier on the theme, “Understanding the Power of Thanksgiving”, Agada, former Special adviser to ex-governor Gabriel Suswam on Inter-Religion and Ethics, admonished all Igede sons and daughters and by extension all Nigerians to learn to thank God in all things.
He said the church was first thanking those illustrious sons and as well as joining them to give thanks to God who made it possible for them to do what had earned them the recognition they got on Sunday, and for bringing them up to their present status.
The man of God in his homily deplored the use of social media by some Igede youths to pull down their leaders and representatives through smear and campaigns of calumny, charging them to desist from such acts.
He specially tasked the youths to respect Rt. Hon. Samson Okwu’s achievements and as the highest political office holder in Igede nation who had been able to “break ranks and files of the echelon of Cabals in the Nigerian leadership.”
The well-attended event had notable Nigerians mostly of Benue extraction including a guber aspirant in the state, Swande, PDP chieftain, Chief Godwin Owulo who stood in for Okwu, Chris Ijale, Peter Ogbaji for Alochu Foundation, representatives of Prof. Emmanuel Ode and Comr. Ben Obega, among others.
Appreciating the congregation for the honour done to the illustrious done Alochu, Ode and Okwu, the representatives of the recipients of the awards took turn to thank God Almighty for the honour.
They took turn to respond, saying their various principals would definitely be spurred by the awards.