By Lucy Ackanyon
The Wife of the Governor of Benue State, Mrs Eunice Ortom, yesterday in the South West State of Ekiti, bagged the “Distinguished Community Service Award” from the Society Of Nigeria Theatre Artists, SONTA.
The Board of trustees of SONTA disclosed that it found her worthy for the recognition due to her contributions to humanity through her NGO known as Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF).
Presentation of the award took place during the 31st Annual Convention and International Conference held at the Arts Theatre Complex, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.
The four-day conference was declared open by the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Chief Bisi Fayemi.
Organised with the theme “Theatre, Counter Terrorism and the Nigerian Space,” Mrs Ortom dedicated the award to the 13-year old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje who was a beneficiary of the free treatment of VVF by her NGO, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, but died from complications arising from sexual violation.
She explained that Ochanya was also a victim of terrorism from a family she thought loved and cared for her and described the theme of the conference as apt.
The wife of the Governor warned that if society did not rise up to the occasion, the future of the girl child will remain in jeopardy. She solicited the support of families, parents and guardians, community leaders, civil society organisations towards raising to the front burner, the issue of sex education.
She equally sought the support of policy and law makers, security agencies and the judiciary to join hands in ensuring that the stipulated punishment is meted out to violators of the girl child.
Mrs Ortom applauded SONTA for recognizing her modest achievements through her NGO, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation ESLF.
Also speaking, Chief Mrs Fayemi urged the participants to come up with useful discussions that will help the country to address terrorism in all its ramifications.
The Conference witnessed the presence of renowned academics and scholars including Benue born, Professor Ama Doki, Dean of Arts at the Benue State University who is also the Vice President of SONTA, Professor Saint Gbilekaa and Professor Tor Iorapuu, while Professor Bode Sowande delivered a keynote address.
Press Coordinator to the Wife of the Governor, Shimataver Aondoakaa received the award on her behalf.