Owerri, Southeastern Nigeria – The Executive Governor of Imo State and founding President of the Rochas Foundation College for Africa, His Excellency Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorcha, has welcomed several dignitaries to the formal opening of his foundation.
A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria says the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Afuko-Addo, former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President of Nigeria, Chief Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isah Mustapha-Agwai and the Governors of Oyo, Niger, Kebbi and Awka Ibom States graced an all-day activity in the Imo State capital on Friday, September 29, 2017.
The Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, represented Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Also, several other ambassadors accredited to Abuja from the Republics of Guinea, Ethiopia and Ghana were present for the event, the dispatch adds.
During a visit to the newly built modern Headquarters of the Rochas Foundation College of Africa, Gov. Okorocha and his beneficiary students gave an outstanding welcome to their guests. Among the dozens of students are five Liberian children who arrived here few days ago to benefit from the free education of the Foundation.
“I have invited you all here to show what we are doing with the African children”, Governor Okorocha said, prior to taking his guests on a guided tour of the new facilities.
Former President Obasanjo, who chairs the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, offered a few words of counsel to the children.
“You are the African leaders of tomorrow. Take every advantage of this free education. Rochas and I have agreed that we will have 5 children from each of the 55 African countries every year”, he added.
Governor Okorocha, under a special project styled ‘55-5-55’, is taking five under-privileged children from 55 African countries in honor of his 55th birthday. The Imo State Governor turned 55 on September 22, 2017.
At the same time, a joint graduation exercise of the Rochas Foundation Colleges across Nigeria climaxed the day.
The event took place at the Imo International Convention Center in Owerri where over 3,000 students from five Nigeria states completed high school education, according to the dispatch.
During the program, Governor Okorocha spoke on his passion for education and his plan to make free education available for all children.
"I won't live forever. When I die, I want the beneficiaries of my free education to keep the candle burning."
Also speaking at the graduation program, former President Obasanjo was full of praises for the Governor: “Okorocha has never stopped to surprise me.
He is a man of vision and ideas. He is a thinking man. And when he explained to me his ideas about education, what he has done, I was marveled. I doff my hat for you, Okorocha.”
He continued, “And with what I have seen today, I have no regret at all to accept his offer for me to be part of this wonderful program and wonderful development agenda to our country and for our continent.”
The President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akuffo Ado, serving as the special guest of honor at the graduation exercise, said Governor Okorocha is a gift to humanity for his dedication to providing good education for children: "I am President of Ghana today because of education. Governor Rochas is a gift to humanity."