By Dennis Agbo
A group of professionals, businessmen and politicians who came under an umbrella known as the Orba New Breed Association, during the weekend, awarded a total sum of N3 million to 30 indigent students from Orba in the Udenu local government area in honour of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s 57th birthday.
Each of the students, who are undergraduates of tertiary institutions in the state and beyond, were presented a cheque of N100,000, after emerging successful in an examination conducted by the state scholarship board.
Speaking during the presentation of the award to the students, Chairman of the association and General Manager Rural Electrification Board, Engr. Onyema Odoh noted that members of the Orba New Breed Association came together to proffer solutions to many issues regarding the community and move the community to the next level.
He said: “We’re very happy that we came up to put smiles on the faces of young undergraduates and this is in honour of His Excellency, the Governor of Enugu State who is our father, our mentor, our brother and an indigene who is celebrating his birthday.
“We’re very happy to be part of this epoch-making event to be able to put smiles on the faces of these young, brilliant Orba students.”
In his contribution, the Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Scholarship Board, Mr Levi Abonyi who also doubled as the association’s chairman scholarship committee, appreciated the good performance of the students who participated in the exercise.
He pointed out that the scholarship was meant to encourage and support brilliant undergraduate students in the various communities in Orba.
According to him, “Reading through most of the essays and some other parts of the questions we asked, I was actually fascinated by the fact that our people are seriously committed to their studies.”
He noted that two questions were posed to the students during the examination, one of which was to test their writing skills.
He admitted that there are other students who could have benefitted from the gesture but owing to the fact that they want to ensure that the winners spread from one village to another.
He assured that the programme will be sustained every year that the governor celebrates his birthday.
Deputy Chairman of Udenu Local government council, Mr Tochukwu Eze said that the money was not about giving it to the people but making sure that there was merit.
One of the beneficiaries and 200 level student of Public Administration and Local Government at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Emmanuella Ezeh expressed happiness to the association for remembering the students in Orba.
“With a heart full of joy and gratitude, I appreciate all of you, the Governor and the Orba New Breed for initiated this program. We are very grateful,” Emmanuella said.
Another 200 level student of ESUT College of Medicine who benefitted from the scholarship, expressed gratitude to the organizers for according him the privilege.
He said, “I’m humbled to be granted this opportunity. I consider myself and the rest of my colleagues privileged to be recognized and honoured in this manner.
“I believe it poses a demand on us to succeed with this investment that has been made into our lives. We have no other option than to return it with good results and we promise to do that to the best of our abilities. I appreciate you all and we can’t thank you enough. I appreciate the governor and wish him a blissful birthday celebration today.”