On the first day of January 2013, an annual ritual of our first ladies at the federal and state levels opened our eyes to some obscure and oppressive human situations. As an annual event, first ladies visit hospitals to take delivery and welcome the first newborn in the New Year. This is not strange, what is strange is what followed after her Excellency Lady Mercy Odochi Orji had received Little Favor Chimezie Uchendu, the first baby of the year and native of Obowo in Imo State. There and then, she enquired about the status of some patients who looked healthy yet interned at the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia Abia State.
These people though cured, were not able to leave the hospital because they could not defray the cost of the Hospital services due to indigence. It was like setting the captives free as the first lady of the state paid outstanding bills of eleven women totaling over one million naira. She went across to the male ward and repeated the same act on three men one of who comes from a neighbouring state of Akwa-Ibom. The act above should be inculcated in our minds. It is highly charitable, commendable and worthy of emulation for so many reasons. Chief Mrs. Odochi Orji has a right to be selective, insisting on giving her gift to an Abia child, rather than one from Imo state. She may have been satisfied assisting the female folks only in gender solidarity but no, she extended to the male ward towering above discrimination based on gender, ethnicity and state of origin, and rather she based her assistance on indigency and mankind. It could be recalled in the past that the Governor’s wife has been living the full meaning of her name to the fullest. She has attracted charitable collaboration with many groups home and abroad notably, Ejay foundation USA, Tolaran Charity Foundation, Lagos, Hannah May Foundation, launched in April 2 2012, Mtn Foundation, Imaging Consultants USA, Health African Cancer Mission, USA, Abia State Med Mission, USA, and Associated Health Resources Centre USA. Beyond the bargain, she hosted and provided logistics to these bodies that attempted and succeeded to a great extent in ameliorating the health conditions of Abians and neighbours.
Over the years, people have been screened for cancer, groups have tested and advised on handling of non-communicable disease like high blood pressure and diabetes. Others have received eye glasses, crutches, hearing aids. Most HIV positive have not been left out. Through her pet project, widows have moved into newly constructed and furnished houses, childless couples have been assisted in adoption staving off separation and divorce that would have resulted from barrenness. Through the Hannah May Foundations, Youths and adults alike have acquired skills, received machines and equipment free of charge to offer services like computer analysis, hairdressing, dress making, event, management and catering as to live successfully, become lawful and marriageable members of society. She has raised family values to an enviable height by example as her mode of dressing has become a dress code in Abia and beyond. She has given out her only daughter at the ripe age to a deserving son not waiting and insisting as some would do that it should be a Governor or the president’s son that can have her hand in matrimony.
Above all, His Excellency Chief T.A. Orji has enjoyed rancor free family life and thus able to proffer solutions to many issues of Governance. Strangely enough, her office gets no budgetary appropriation but she has risen assiduously to the challenges becoming a powerful fund raiser. By all these, we call on Abians to emulate Her Excellency. The bible is replete with injunctions on helping the needy, not only our brothers or sisters but taking the teachings of Jesus Christ in the book of Luke through the story of the Good Samaritan that your neighbor is not necessarily one who lives in your neighborhood but anybody who needs your help.
To this end, let us as a hobby, duty and precept visit hospitals, orphanages and churches to assist in one way or the other. No amount of cash or kind is too small. Denying yourself of some leisures and converting the proceeds to some token gifts can give a needy or somebody bedridden, wreathing in pains and gnashing of teeth a lifeline. Remember the widow’s mite became the greatest gift of all times and the story celebrated, read from generation to generation. Today it is a popular sermon on the lips of our clergies on radio, Television, and Churches. Let us be merciful at least we all live by His grace and mercy. Any service thus rendered is for the growth of mankind and the glory of God.