BY CHUKWUMA MARYANN CHIOMA : The Anambra chapter of the Nigerian Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Monday, 8 May at her headquarters in Amawbia, Awka-South local government council of Anambra state joined her sister societies all over the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Red Cross Day Celebration titled ‘Together for Humanity’. The celebration which was in commemoration of the founder of the organization, Jean Henry Dunant who was born on 8 May, 1828 in Geneva, Switzerland was being held simultaneously in the 187 member nations of the Red Cross Society.

In his speech at the event, the Anambra state chairman, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Hon. Justice P.A.C. Obidigwe KSC (Emeritus Judge of Anambra State) noted that the theme of this year’s World Red Cross Day Celebration; ‘Together for Humanity’ was in recognition and honour to the teeming volunteers of the society all over the world covering 187 member nations with over 250 million supporters. He then traced the history of the Nigerian Red Cross Society from the time it was a branch of the British Red Cross till 1917 when it first appeared on the corridors of the nation to April 1951 when the headquarters of the Nigerian Branch of the British Red Cross was established in Lagos by the Governor General. Following the official handover in 1961, the Nigerian Red Cross Society became Independent. Justice Obidigwe then gave the seven cardinal principles of the society to include: impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Speaking further, Justice Obidigwe commended His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano and the wife Chief Mrs. Ebele Obiano for the grandiose achievements and strategies of the Governor, targeted towards changing the fortunes of the people of Anambra state in order to achieve the much desired four pillars of development which are Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce, Oil and Gas Development.

He then extended his commendations also to the members of the Anambra state House of Assembly led by Hon. Rita Mmaduagwu for the peaceful and cordial relationship with the executive arm of the government and the quality legislative functions which they have carried on since their inception in office. He however commended, the judiciary for their speedy reforms of the High Court proceedings which has accelerated judicial processes and adjudication of matters in Anambra state while thanking the Anambra people at large for being peaceful, law abiding and diligent volunteers to the Red Cross Society.

Hon. Justice Obidigwe however highlighted some of the needs of the Anambra Red Cross Society to include; Ambulance Vehicle, Pickup vehicle vans, firsts aid boxes, stretchers and medicaments; items he said if available would help the society perform her humanitarian duties optimally within the state.

In their goodwill messages, the co-coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Martin Odinya commended the good efforts of the Red Cross Society and promised his agency’s support to the Red Cross Society and vowed to relate the society’s enlisted needs to NEMA. In another goodwill message, the representative of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Dr. Judith Udemezu appreciated the activities and efforts of the state chairman of the Red Cross Society Hon. Justice Obidigwe and Prof. Peter Emeka Katchy respectively and indeed all members of the Red Cross Society and guaranteed their continuous support to the society.

Also speaking in his vote of thanks, the vice-chairman of the Red Cross Society, Prof. Peter Emeka Katchy thanked all and sundry especially His Excellency, Gov. Willie Obiano for his immense support to the Red Cross and Red Crescent society of Anambra state and promised that the Anambra Red Cross Society would not relent in all their humanitarian supports to the good people of the state.

Highlights of the event where the cutting of cake by the Grand Patron of the society, H.R.H. Igwe K.O.N. Orizu III (CON) JP and other dignitaries present, toast by the vice-chairman of the state Red Cross Society, and parade by the Nigerian Red Cross Society Parade Squad.

Source: Anambra State Government