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Hardship: Benue ex-commissioner launches education fund for Idoma students

Former Commissioner for Finance in Benue State, Dr. David Olofu, has launched a N50m Education Support Fund, to cater for the needs of Idoma students…

Former Commissioner for Finance in Benue State, Dr. David Olofu, has launched a N50m Education Support Fund, to cater for the needs of Idoma students in tertiary institutions across the 9 Local Government Areas of Benue South.

Olofu, who was the Chairman of the Forum of Commissioners for Finance in Nigeria, and current Senior Technical Advisor to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, said the initiative was to support the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration’s resolve to provide succours to the students.

Olofu was initially nominated by the Idoma Area Traditional Council for a chieftaincy title in Otukpo, but barely 48 hours to the event, he was allegedly delisted.

At a press conference in Otukpo on Friday, Olofu said he had put that behind him, saying he would rather use the funds raised for the reception of the event, to put smiles on the faces of Idoma students.

While naming the Board of Trustees of the Education Support Fund, Olofu said, “We consulted widely and we came to a conclusion that our brother, our leader and our son, who is currently serving as a senior lecturer at the Federal University Wukari; our own brother, Professor David Salifu, a former SSG to serve as the chairman of the Board of Trustees that will administer this fund.

“Let me emphasize that this fund will be devoid of political affiliations and to work with him in that team, we have also recognized that we bring on board the National Association of Idoma Students (NAIS).

“We also recognized the need to have a representative of the Idoma Area Traditional Council and also a representative of civil society on that team and to provide secretarial services, we have also nominated Honourable Owoicho Oyi, the former chairman of Apa Local Government, to serve in that capacity”.

The Board chairman, Prof. Salifu in his acceptance message, described the project as laudable and enjoined other Idoma sons and daughters to emulate the initiator of the project, Dr. Olofu.

“I accept my appointment to chair the Board of the Education Support Fund initiated by my younger brother, the immediate past Benue Finance Commissioner, Dr. David Olofu. I am totally committed to the goal of the Foundation and I call on us to make ourselves available as the blocks to building this initiative to its logical conclusion”.

The President of NAIS, Comrade Vincent Odebugu expressed gratitude to Dr. Olofu, for his charity towards the Idoma students, despite the situation.

He said, “I stand here today in appreciation and in commendation to Hon. David Olofu, for this charitable act towards the Idoma nation, of a truth, you have experienced what it takes to pass through the four walls of the university, having a track record of facing challenges while on campus. These are the challenges we leaders of the association are facing and we are handicapped by not being able to render solutions.”

In their separate remarks, a Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Chris Adaba Abba, and Comrade Joe Ochogwu, National President of NAIS in 1995, lauded the gesture of Dr. Olofu, urging other Idoma leaders to emulate him.

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