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Clara-Oshiomhole

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Nigerians In History: Clara Oshiomhole

 

Referred to as the Strong Tower, Clara Oshiomole was a dependable pillar for her husband, Adams Oshiomole. They fought and won different battles on different fronts, as a labour activist and President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), for the well-being of the Nigerian worker and for the recovery of his electoral mandate as Governor of Edo state.

Though Clara Oshiomhole may not have the crowd-pulling charisma of her husband, Adams Aliu Oshiomhole, she was, however, undoubtedly, the unheard heroine and pillar behind his many struggles and successes. As acclaimed by no less a man as Adams himself. In more ways than one, she has since proven that to be true.


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Background

Born on 18th June 1956 to the Akharagbon family of IdumuAgho, Okaigben, Ewohimi, in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State, Clara never had the privilege of acquiring early education like her mates. That, however, did not affect her determination to acquire a professional academic relevance. After obtaining her Primary School Leaving Certificate from Okaigben primary school, in her home town, she proceeded to Kaduna where she attended Commercial Secondary school, Kaduna. Thereafter, she went for the TC2 certificate from the Teacher Training College, also in Kaduna, before her admission into the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi for an Advanced Teacher’s Certificate. She went to the Administrative Staff College, Badagry, Lagos, for the Certificate in Public Administration, CPA, after which she enrolled at the Open University for a degree programme. She, however, could not complete the course following her husband’s emergence as the executive governor of Edo State in November 2008.

She then took up an appointment as a staff member of the National Institute of Public Information, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Information, Kaduna. She was a secretarial staff of the institute until her husband won a popular victory through a judgment of the Court of Appeal to become governor of Edo State. She left the institute temporarily to take up her responsibilities as Edo State First Lady.


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Philanthropism

Mrs Oshiomhole was a philanthropist through and through. She has often been remembered for her determination to put an end to the suffering of indigent people anywhere she found herself. In particular, she made a strong case for women and the girl child upon her emergence as Edo State First Lady by setting up the Health Foundation for Maternal and Child Care, HEFMAC. HEFMAC was an NGO designed to bring quality, effective but affordable healthcare to indigent women and children. Consequent to that onerous commitment, she organized free health care programme in the three senatorial districts of the state. In addition, she paid millions of Naira as hospital bills for women and children who could not settle such bills in various hospitals across the state and equally offered scholarships to indigent but brilliant young girls selected from the three senatorial districts. The scholarship covers tuition and books from secondary to tertiary institutions of learning.

Clara, as she is fondly called, was true, a rare breed that will be remembered for a long time.

Reference

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Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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