By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Former Governor of Imo State, Sen. Rochas Okorocha, said he desired in his life time to take one million children off the street and provide them free quality education.
Okorocha, who represents Imo West Senatorial District in the Senate, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while speaking with a select group of journalists ahead on his 59 years birthday celebration on Thursday.
According to him, his contract at 59 is to promote education for the less privileged, the downtrodden who lacked access to education.
Okorocha said that providing care and education for the downtrodden children across Africa meant much to him than acquiring material things.
“I want to take one million children off the street and give them free quality education, that is my target.
“Once I am able to achieve that, it is much more important to me than being the president of Nigeria, a senator or governor.
“This is more important to me than having mansions in South Africa and Dubai,” he said.
The senator, who is the founder of the Okorocha Foundation, said that he presently has more than 25,000 children he was catering for in different schools.
Rochas Foundation is a non- governmental, non-profit and non-political organisation, established in 1998.
It has a firm commitment to serve humanity and build a credible future for Africa by ensuring every less privileged child has access to comprehensive and qualitative education.
Okorocha said: “Now I have over 25,000 children, 75 per cent of them are orphans and about 15 per cent of them have single parent, five per cent are those living below poverty line, though their parents are alive.
“On this my birthday, I have invited children from different parts of the country, and from all over Africa.
He disclosed that many beneficiaries of his foundation had graduated and working in different fields.
He urged more Nigerians and Africans to join him in the desire to move more children off the street and give them education that would not only develop the continent but promote peace.
Okorocha also urged the media to give necessary support to the government in addressing insecurity, banditry and other challenges facing the country.
“This is the time the media are needed more for the security and development of the country.
“No doubt our nation is going through difficult moments and there are insecurity and other challenges. This is the time we are going to need you more,“ he said.
He said that Nigeria could be made better collectively, if everybody played his part responsibility.
Some of the children his foundation enrolled in different schools who came to wish him happy birthday are from Kenya, Congo, Cameroon, Mozambique, Gambia and Nigeria.
Some others came from Ethiopia, Liberia, Burundi, Malawi, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Lesotho and Tanzania.
Some of the students, who spoke with NAN, thanked Okorocha for giving them life and hope through quality education.
One of the students of Rochas Foundation College of Africa (ROFOCA), Miss Muna Begashaw from Ethiopia, said that Okorocha gave so many of her type hope.
She urged more Nigerians and other Africans to emulate Okorocha by assisting the less privileged.
“We have millions of less privileged in Africa and one man cannot take care of all of them. We need more people to emulate him,” Begashaw said.
A Nigerian, Master Sanusi Muhammed from Sokoto State and an SS2 student in ROFOCA Abuja, said he counted himself lucky to be one of the beneficiaries of Rochas Foundation.
Muhammed said that the foundation did not just provide them shelter and food but quality education and moral education to meet future challenges. (NAN)