Former Managing Director of Neimeth International and a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, has thrown his weight behind Chike Okoli Foundation, saying it has touched so many lives.
Ohuabunwa, who disclosed this to Pharmanews during the foundation’s 7thAnnual Heart &Soul Gala, which took place at Muson Centre, Lagos, on 7th June, 2013, noted that the essence of living is not in the number of years one lives but on the impact one makes while living and the legacy left behind.
“Some people know how to turn grief to something spectacular. This foundation is one of them. What happened was a tragedy, having to die at such a young age.
“But God sustained the parents and gave them courage to turn it to a cause to promote healthy living and entrepreneurial initiative. What this means is that we will always remember Chike Okoli for good,” he said.
The Heart &Soul Gala, which attracted high profile personalities, both from the pharmacy circle and other sectors, is held annually to raise funds, as well as create awareness for heart attack and entrepreneurial training in memorial of the late Chike Okoli.
In attendance were Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director of Alpha Pharmacy; Fola Adeola, former vice presidential candidate of ACN and chairman of Fate Foundation; His Royal Highness, Dr. Laz Ekwueme; Senator Joy Emordi, special adviser to the president on National Assembly Matters; Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, secretary to the Government of the Federation and Prof. Boniface Egboka, vice chancellor, NnamdiAzikwe University, Awka.
Others were Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Lagos State deputy governor; Oba Otudeko, chairman of Honeywell Group; Mrs. Chinyere Dozie, wife of Diamond Bank’s chairman; Hon. Halima Hassan of Kebbi House of Assembly and Chief JumokeAkinjide, representing Dame Patience Jonathan.
Corroborating Ohuabunwa’s statement, Pharm. Onyechi praised the virtue of the foundation, saying that it has succeeded in empowering many Nigerians.
“Mrs. Stella Okoli has done well with the creation of this foundation. It is creating so much awareness and support for others to benefit and that is why we all gathered here today to show solidarity to her. As a former PMGMAN president, Stella has proven herself to be a committed person who acts and supports others. Despite owning one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, she likes to come in person, when you extend an invitation to her,” he said.
On his part, Adeola relived the moment he met late Chike Okoli, adding that he never knew the young man was going to leave so soon after spending just 25 years on earth.
In an emotion-laden voice, the former vice presidential candidate, who contested alongside Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in the last elections, described Stella as a counsellor and supporter for the downtrodden.
“That probably explained why we have the foundation. There is no reason for anybody to leave university and still spend four years at home doing nothing. Today, the world is embracing entrepreneurship. We need to continually empower people, not create room for kidnapping. I am hoping that even if we cannot meet the target of N455 million, as expected, let’s try to raise a minimum donation of N51 million to cover the foundation’s expenditure,” he canvassed.