By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
The Daura Emirate Council in Katsina State has turbaned the former Imo State Governor and Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha as the Magan Alheri Hausa (the great giver to the Hausa people) in recognition of his contributions to the education of indigent children in Northern parts of the country.
The Council also disclosed that the former governor was honoured for his unwavering support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Daura is the hometown of President Buhari.
Okorocha, who holds other chieftaincy titles for his free education programme in the North, was turbaned at the Palace of the Emir of Daura Umar Farouk during a private visit at the weekend.
The wife, Nneoma Rochas Okorocha was also bestowed with the title of Zinnariya Hausa (Golden Mum of Hausa).
Defending the choice of the Senator for the revered title, the Palace Spokesman, Danejin Daura said he was turbaned for his immense contribution to the development of education in Northern Nigeria.
His words: “In recognition of your unwavering support to our son President Muhammadu Buhari and your contributions to the development of every nook and cranny of our country and North through your free education programme, the Daura Emirate Council hereby bestow on you the title of Magan Alheri Hausa, do accept our highest regard.”
Okorocha thanked the Emirate for the honour, adding that the title will propel him to continue to address the plight of the indigent and vulnerable people irrespective of their tribe or religion.
He said the Rochas Foundation College; a tuition-free school will remain committed to tackling the problem of out of school children in the North and other parts of the country.
The Senator enjoined other privileged Nigerians to give succour to the needy through investment in free education and other interventions.
Meanwhile hosting a delegation from the New Nigeria and Old Students of the Rochas Foundation College who paid him a visit to congratulate him on the honour, at the Unity House Abuja, Okorocha, urged Nigerians to promote the virtues that will secure the country’s unity.
“The country that wants to be united and remain united must love each other and the leaders must extend the hands of friendship across borderline. But it is unfortunate that the foundation of this country was laid wrongly. The foundation was laid on the basis of divide and rule and that was what we inherited from the colonial masters without direction. And it is our generation that must fix it.”
Continuing, he said: “Rochas Foundation is established in all geopolitical zones of Nigeria, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa.
Now, Suleman’s best friends are Igbo, the gentleman that just spoke now, the President, and I see them. It is already there in Imo State. Those from the west also, and from the North, they interact because a proper foundation through Rochas Foundation was laid.
“These children will grow up learning to love one another. None of the children from Rochas Foundation will see the other as coming from the East, West or North or belonging to one religion or ethnic group, but one Nigeria. This is a foundation that was not laid, and if you don’t have love in your heart, you can’t go beyond your family.
“So, we must promote activities that unite this country. Rochas Foundation is one key example and I don’t know why I should treat a Northerner different from Easterner. Is either you have a small brain those who think about section or you don’t think right. So in the interest of the unity of this country, leaders must extend hands of fellowship across the borderline.
“This will help; again, some of our leaders don’t have any relationship other than political relationship with other parts of the country. So, they see Nigeria as being only where they come from, that is where largeness of heart comes in, this is why we have the problem that we have.
I have properties in Plateau, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Zaria, Ibadan, Cross River and Enugu. So, I have an interest. But when you don’t have interest anywhere except the state where you come from, even if other states are burning, you don’t care because you have nothing to lose.
“I have children from Sokoto, Kano Jigawa, Kastina, Enugu, Owerri, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Osun and Niger. There is no local government area in Nigeria where you don’t have Rochas Foundation. So I have interest and there is no difference between these my adopted children and my biological children, when you see us together, you will understand what I am talking about. I think new leaders must learn to extend brotherhood and frontiers of friendship by establishing in different parts of the country.
“Today I make bold to say that the only ethnic group that has shown sign of practical examples in uniting Nigeria are the Igbo. There is no village that you go without finding an Igbo man. I wish we can find Yoruba all over, Hausa all over, Fulani all over. This issue will not come in.
Again there is so much communication gap between our various ethnic groups and poverty which makes you look for who has offended you and who has not offended you. So these are some of the issues we are going to be dealing with.”