By Onome Oghenetega
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s wife and founder of the 05 Initiative, Dame Edith has debunked receiving a grant N3.5 billion (US $10 million) as support from a United States America-based non-profit organization, the Initiative for Global Development (IGD).
Controversies had trailed the report of the grant which got the Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr Ovie Success Ossai being suspended for two months without salary for sharing the report which the wife of the Delta State governor had described as lie.
Mrs Okowa’s 05 Initiative has been on the forefront in tackling sickle cell anaemia and promotion of children welfare across Delta State.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Asaba, the governor’s wife clarified that her organization though had entered into partnership with some foreign group, no support donation was made by any group to her foundation.
While she acknowledged that some US-based and United Nations groups had agreed to assist her foundation through the digitization of sickle cell centres across the state, no agreement was reached in monetary terms with the groups.
Clarifying further, Mrs Okowa posited that, “A major outcome of our UN presentation is the expressed desire of The Initiative for Global Development to partner with 05 Initiative.
“Their interest is centred on digitizing our sickle cell clinics across the state. This will generate critical data that will aid in the management of sickle cell patients.
“I would like to state categorically that no memorandum of understanding has been signed and no financial commitment has been made.”
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While expressing delight that her NGO’s efforts in the area of sickle cell sensitization and campaign were being globally recognized, described media reports stating that she has been offered N3.5 billion as malicious and lacks any iota of truth.
“They have helped us to succeed and shine…I promise you all that we will strive to do more to change our world, one person at a time”, she added.
Governor Okowa’s wife, flanked by Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and Director-General, O5 Initiative, Mrs Kevwe Agas, commended various public and private individuals and organisations for their support to her project.