Education in some communities in Okpella, Esatko East Local Government area of Edo State, recently, received a life-line from the activities of Idofe Anamero Foundation, powered by the oil magnate, Managing Director of Gulf Treasure Oil and Danco Investment. Experts at the epoch making event agreed that, if only all or majority of well-meaning Nigerians emulates Mr. Dekeri Anamero or large hearted people like him are entrusted with political leadership. Emameh Gabriel who was at the commissioning ceremony for LEADERSHIP gauged the mood of beneficiaries.
The late anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, once referred to education as the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world. This fact notwithstanding, education in Nigeria, in the last few decades has suffered untold neglect or was not given due attention. Though, the current and the immediate past governments in Edo State are throwing everything to the works, to ensure that the fortune of education in the state is revamped. Truth be told, no government anywhere has all the resources to do everything, thus necessitating the need for well-off individuals and committed groups to partner with government.
This clarion obligation prompted Idofe Anamero Foundation to intervene in the pathetic fate of education in some communities in Okpella. The Foundation built, equipped and donated a two blocks of ten classrooms to Ogute and Itorugbe communities in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
At the commissioning ceremony on 14 July, the Edo State Government, seeing the landmark contribution of Idofe Anamero Foundation to education sector in the state and beyond, promised to intensify partnership with individuals or groups who have genuine community development initiatives in the state. The governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki made this disclosure at the commissioning ceremony of a two blocks of ten classrooms built donated to Ogute and Itorugbe communities in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State by Idofe Anamero Foundation.
The Governor who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele said, the founder of the foundation Mr. Dekeri Anamero “has never shy away from community development projects, stressing that “he (Mr. Dekeri) has shown the way and have served as a guiding light to others who have refused to help people and their communities in particular, with the stupendous wealth God has blessed them with.
“We are proud of you but the challenge is to ensure that the facility donated is properly maintained, Obaseki said. He advised that a maintenance strategy should be put in place by leaders of the community to ensure that the facility serves the purpose for which it was built.
The governor revealed that, arrangements has been concluded and contractors have been ordered to go back to site for work to commence on the construction of Okpella township roads which his predecessor, Adams Oshiomole started and was unable to complete before the expiration of his tenure.
Also speaking at the event, former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole said, he was impressed by what he saw on ground, stressing that one must not be in government before making impacts on the lives of his people.
The former labour leader said, he was inspired to honour the invitation because he is an “education fanatic”.
“The starting point for empowerment is helping to provide quality and basic education. You are an example of what people should emulate because the basis for survival is knowledge in a digitalized world that is technologically driven”. Oshiomhole advised the youths of Okpella community to think inward and take advantage of what education has put on the table for their future.
While commending the efforts of Anamero Foundation for the initiative, Oshiomohle said, “There are those who have ruled and had opportunity to help but have failed.”
Earlier, the Okuokphellagbe of Okpella, Alhaji Yusuf Dirisu, commended the donor of the projects and said the gesture is an expression of his love for the community and urged other well-meaning sons and daughters to emulate same.
He said Dekeri Anamero is a good example of a success story because he was determined and that was why dignitaries from across Edo State are gathered today.
A beneficiary of the project, Mrs Justina Wilson, whose three children are in one of the secondary schools urged Mr. Derek to venture into politics, in the 2019 general election, as his large heartedness will go a long way to benefit the people as their representative in government.
Similarly, Gloria Adomagbo, President, National Association of Okpella students said, pupils, students in both secondary and tertiary institution will mobilize heavily for the philanthropist because he has shown himself worthy.
“You can imagine a man who can do this much with his hard earned money. If he finds himself in public office then people will be better off. If he is willing, I will join hands with my friends and wellwishers to campaign for this good Nigerian. These are the kind of people we need at the arena of power.”
In his keynote address, the founder of Idofe Anamero Foundation and MD Gulf Treasure Oil and Danco Investment, said there is no other way he could have been fulfilled as an individual, than giving back to the society, as it has become a call to duty for him.
According to him, “I know whatever I have achieved so far, is by the grace of Almighty God. So, for me, philanthropy is a call to duty”.
He said he was motivated to embark on the project after a visit to the school with a selected group from the two communities that are beneficiaries of the project, hence the foundation intervention.
He said, he was perplexed by the deplorable situation of the school and wondered “how learning can ever take place in such a run-down environment. There are too many complaints, in some places it is lack of drinkable water and other essentials of life”, he added.
He pleaded with the students to use the improved environment provided for them to aspire to greater heights in their quest for knowledge.
While stressing the need for the benefiting students to acknowledge the Foundation’s gesture, Mr Dekeri said, “The current malaise bedeviling the youths can be curbed with the right education, as such is the antidote to poverty, ignorance, disease and squalor. He reminded parents that the ultimate education for their children and wards must begin from the home as teachers only have limited roles to play in the life of a child.
The oil magnate maintained that, since the foundation was founded in 2012, it has prioritized education among others. So far, according to Mr Dekeri, the foundation has continued to distribute 200,000 exercise books in public primary schools across Edo North, awarded. Scholarships have also been provided for over two hundred indigent students. To ameliorate the recalcitrant problem of power supply, the Foundation has donated transformers to some communities in Okpella and sank many boreholes among many others.