By Ephraim Oseji
Former Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa have commended development activist and founding member of the All Progressives Congress, Professor Pat Utomi, for establishing a school for the indigent students in Ibusa, Oshimili north local government area of Delta State.
Determined to liberate the children of the poorest of the poor from the shackles of poverty, Utomi had initiated the school to provide education to students from poor background in order to change their status in the society forever.
•L-R Godwin Anaughe, Prof. Pat Utomi, Tam Brisibe, and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo state and others during the foundation laying ceremony of the school for indigent students in Ibusa, Delta State
Oshiomhole, who described Utomi as a trail-blazer in the corporate world, said the latter is living the saying – teach a man how to fish. According to him, Utomi is seeking to empower generations to come by setting up the school.
He urged all to emulate the step, adding:”You do not have to be in government or have a political position to touch lives. Do your part.”
On his part, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa said the school will not only serve Ibusa people as even non-indigenes could benefit and should be lauded by all.
Okowa who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Tam Brisibe, said the project is in tandem with the SMART agenda of his administration and promised that his administration will give all necessary support to make it a success.
Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony, Utomi said he was inspired by the knowledge that good quality education is the best way to break the chain of poverty in a given society, adding that bearing in mind and knowing that the poor would have difficulty in acquiring the needed quality education; he became burdened with the idea of setting up the school which can favourably compete with international schools.
According to him, the school which would also have a replica in Ikorodu, Lagos State, when completed, would offer free high quality education to the less privileged in the society. He said, “The poor cannot afford the fees of A-grade schools. This makes poverty recyclable in our society but with this school, they will be well educated and the cycle broken”.
Laying the foundation stone, Oshiomhole commended Utomi for his selflessness.
Meanwhile, different bodies, especially the clergy and laity of St Monica’s Catholic Church, expressed gratitude to Utomi for the landmark project. They called on public spirited individuals to borrow a leaf for him.