Gloria Ikegbule

Nigeria’s first ever health facility, Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro, Abeokuta, owned and operated by the Catholic Church, now has an orphanage centre.

The facility was built and donated by the late Most Supreme Apostle Matthew Omodayo Owotuga Foundation in honour of late Most Supreme Apostle Omodayo Owotuga who passed on 10 years ago.

With this development, the hospital, which was established in 1895, now has the first Catholic orphanage in Ogun State. The orphanage was said to have been built to support the less privileged including orphans, motherless children, and the destitute.

Speaking during the commissioning and handover ceremony of the Sacred Heart Orphanage on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev. Peter Odetoyinbo, expressed gratitude to the Omodayo Owotuga family and enjoined the rich and influential persons to begin empowerment programmes for the destitute and orphans.

“With a sense of gratitude to God, having blessed so many, the only way to express such gratitude is to share with all these children and those who don’t have. I implore all who can, to do it,” the bishop said.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Omodayo Owotuga Foundation, Samuel Jonathan said the act of generosity and benevolence was born out of commemorating and promoting the legacy of the late Most Supreme Apostle Omodayo Owotuga who passed on 10 years ago.

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He said part of the efforts of the foundation since its inception in 2009, was to extend charity and gifts to different organisations, orphans and indigent children whose parents can’t pay their tuition fees.

According to him, the late Owotuga was a lover of education who enjoyed helping the less privileged, especially children with respect to their academic pursuits.

He said: “The late Owotuga laid the foundation of kind-hearted gesture before he died; so it is only mandatory that we continue in his tradition; as such we have been able to reach out to indigent students who can’t pay their tuition fees and for examinations, be it West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB).”

First child and daughter of the late Owotuga, Mrs. Agnes Ehinmowo added that, while the foundation had helped in paying up bills of hospital patients, giving out scholarships to indigent students, visiting Ibara prison, other orphanage homes, amongst others, she was hopeful an orphanage centre would also be built in Ondo State very soon since her late father hailed from the state.