Chike Okoli Foundation has Transformed from Pain to Gain – Prof. Esimone

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Prof. Charles Esimone, vice – chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka has declared that the legacy left by the late Chike Okoli (through his foundation) has metamorphosed from sorrow into something beautiful.

Speaking with Pharmanews at the 13th Annual Heart & Soul Gala held at Lagos City Hall, Lagos Island on 27 June 2019, Esimone said the Foundation revolves around the death of a young man whose memorial has been impacting people’s lives across the country.

“I believe in his cause. It is quite innovative and worth celebrating. In fact, it is an institution that has transformed from pain into gain. People are being enlightened and educated on the danger of cardiovascular disease just as thousands of young entrepreneurs are being empowered every year through Chike Okoli Foundation,” he stressed.

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L-R: Mrs Uzoma Ezeoke, executive director, Emzor Pharmaceuticals; Emeka Okoli, chairman, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries; Dr Stella Okoli, chairman, board of directors, Chike Okoli Foundation; Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, First Lady of Lagos; Chief (Mrs) Taiwo Taiwo, chairman, Aart of Life Foundation and Dr (Mrs) Onikepo Akande, former minister of Industry at the event.

Inferring from the Biblical anecdote of Jabez, the vice-chancellor further alluded that Okoli’s death has brought some sort of benefits to many.

“It has moved the families, relatives, friends and former associates from the point of pain (or sorrow) to gain just as it was written in the Bible,” he emphasised.

The event which attracted a huge turnout of pharmacists, technocrats, political bigwigs, socialites and professionals from all walks of life also had Dr Stella Okoli, chairman, board of directors, Chike Okoli Foundation; Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, First Lady of Lagos; Dr (Mrs) Onikepo Akande, former minister of Industry; Pharm. Nnamdi Okafor, managing director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc; Pharm. Ebenezer Adeleke, Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Mrs Uzoma Ezeoke, executive director, Emzor Pharmaceuticals and Chief (Mrs) Taiwo Taiwo, chairman, Aart of Life Foundation.

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Established in furtherance of the ideals of Chike Edward Okoli who died five days to his 25th birthday from undetected coronary artery disease, the Foundation has risen beyond the grief of his untimely death. A Chike Okoli Foundation was set up by his family to promote the passion of his life – entrepreneurship – and to combat cardiovascular diseases which had led to his untimely demise.

L-R: Pharm. Ebenezer Adeleke, Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and Prof. Charles Esimone, vice-chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU).

In her presentation, Dr Stella Okoli, chairman, board of directors, Chike Okoli Foundation explained that when the Foundation was established 13 years ago, its activities had impacted close to 10 million youths, while 5,000 diligent youths are trained every year in entrepreneurship at the Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (COCES), located at the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka.

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She further declared that, since inception in 2006, the establishment, in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Education, had sustained a regular grassroots cardiovascular health programme which had so far reached out to thousands of young people with valuable information on lifestyle habits.

 

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