FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo are among 48 persons to be honoured by the Nigerian Red Cross Society in Anambra State, on Saturday, for their contributions to the development of the society.
Others listed for the award include the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Joseph Ahaneku, his counterpart at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Professor Greg Nwakoby, Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, Igwe Orizu of Nnewi, Senator Andy Uba, Chief Pete Edochie, as well as some presidents general of town unions.
Addressing reporters yesterday as part of activities to mark this year’s World Red Cross Day, the Anambra State Chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross, Justice Paul Obidigwe said the awardees should be appreciated for contributing immensely towards the building of a healthy society.
Speaking specifically of the former president, Obidigwe said Obasanjo would be made the Grand Commander of Humanity, adding that he had not been identified as one of those who hid the nation’s wealth in foreign lands.
He promised that the Red Cross would continue to assist the vulnerable, less privileged, accident/disaster victims and the motherless babies, even as he complained that paucity of funds was a major drawback in the activities of the organisation.
He listed Ambulance Vehicles, First Aid Boxes, Medicament, Stretchers, Blankets, among others, as some of the pressing needs of the Red Cross, adding, “these items would enhance our capacity on disaster preparedness mitigation and rapid response to the most vulnerable in times of human needs.”
The state Vice Chairman of the Red Cross, Professor Peter Katchy said that the organization responded to 65 fire incidents, three building collapse, three fire outbreak in industries in Onitsha and rescued many accident victims in various parts of the state within the past one year.
He added: “We assisted in taking injured passengers to hospitals for treatment, maintained sanity on our roads while collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps staff and assisted government during the last immunization campaigns.
“We also brokered peace during communal clashes involving communities, particularly at Umueri and Aguleri. During the flooding period in Anambra East and West, we distributed materials to over 2000 communities and actively assisted displaced persons in the 28 flood camps spread across the 10 local government areas of the state.’’