Kiisi Trust Foundation To Reward Ogoni 1st Class Graduates, Researchers

…As 365 Students Get Scholarship

The Kiisi Trust Foundation has provided scholarship to 365 students of Ogoni extraction, with a promise of financial rewards to first class graduates in the current academic session.

Speaking while presenting certificates to the beneficiaries of this year’s Kiisi Trust Scholarship Award at the auditorium of the Law Faculty of Rivers State University (RSU), Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Chairman of the Kiisi Trust Foundation Board of Trustees, Hon Uche Onyeagucha said the gesture is aimed at promoting education and scholarship in Ogoni land.

Onyeagucha who also extended the gesture to scholars of Ogoni extraction who engages in worthy academic research, said the offer is available to students and academics of Ogoni irrespective of where they are domiciled.

The Chairman who is a former member of the House of Representatives (Owerri West, Imo State) congratulated the beneficiaries of the scholarship award for academic excellence and attaining the prescribed Cumulative Grades Point Average (CGPA).

He said the Trust would also consider applications from 200 level students beneficiaries who improved on their CGPA, for further scholarship awards under the programme.

A reknown lawyer, human rights activist and member of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa’s legal team during his trial by the late Sani Abacha-led military junta, Onyeagucha charged the students to strive for excellence and relive the dreams of the late environmentalist.

A dogged advocate and supporter of the Ogoni struggle, the Kiisi Trust Board Chairman stressed the need for students and youths of Ogoni to learn and sing the Ogoni Anthem and assimilate the message as a weapon for economic and social liberation.

He noted that the occasion of the scholarship award would be incomplete without the Ogoni Anthem.

After leading the audience in an emotion ladened rendition of the Ogoni Anthem, Onyeaguocha described the Ogoni Anthem as a uniting force and binding spirituality that motivated the people throughout those trying period.

In his words, “The Ogoni Anthem gave courage to people during the trial of Saro-Wiwa. All you need to do to keep the faith of the Ogoni is to sing the anthem.

“During those days of the trial at the State Secretariat, just sing the anthem and the whole place would erupt. People would be singing at their different offices and some through the windows”.

In his speech at the occasion, the Chairman, Governance and Programs Sub Committee of the Kiisi Trust Foundation and former Vice Chancellor of RSU, Professor Barineme Beke Fakae applauded both past and present beneficiaries of the scholarship for standing out amongst the rest to etch their names in the sands of history.

Fakae whose arrival to the venue was greeted with a deafening ovation, noted that education is one of the thematic areas of the Ogoni struggle, which was why the Trust had to be set up.

While also lending his voice on the need for Ogoni youths to assimilate the letters and spirit of the Ogoni Anthem, the amiable professor who served as Rector of Bori Polytechnic before his surgeon to RSU, said the task before the Kiisi is to fulfill the first stanza of the Ogoni Anthem which is education and proceed to achieve the rest.

“But the Trust has insisted that scholarship should only be for scholars . And that is the reason why you saw that in the publication, we didn’t seek your permission to indicate your CGPA because there are people who would claim they were qualified but could not be given the scholarship. We are trying to show that we gave scholarship to scholars”, he declared, amid applause.

Professor Fakae who outlined the vision, mission and values of Kiisi Trust Foundation, also explained that the Trust was philanthropic actions of the plaintiff in the 2009 celebrated case of Wiwa vs Shell.

“This philanthropic action was the creation of Kiisi Trust Fund with 5 million US Dollars out of the 15 million US Dollars out of court settlement in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York”, he said while urging the beneficiaries to make the best use of the scholarship.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of a painting to Kiisi Trust Foundation by the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS).

Other members of the Kiisi Trust Foundation present at the occasion were Madam Deezia Hannah Karikpo, Dr. LebatamBarinuameNdegwe and Ese Emerhi, Project Director of the Trust.


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