Another honour has come the way of Rev. Sr. Henrietta Ebosiogwe Alokha, the principal of Bethlehem Girls College, who, along with a security staff member of the school, died during the Abule-Ado, Lagos’ gas explosion while saving her pupils, who were trapped in the inferno.
On March 15, 2020, there was an explosion in Abule-Ado during the Sunday morning Eucharistic Celebration held at the chapel of the school, owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.
The Rotary Club of Lagos, in collaboration with Rotary District 9110, while marking the World Peace Day, honoured Rev. Sr. Alokha with a posthumous award.
At the event, which took place at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, were members of Dr. Alokha family, dignitaries from the diplomatic community and Rotary District 9110.
The District Governor, Mrs. Omotunde Lawson, Rotary international, presenting the award to a representative of the family, Mr. Anselm Alokha, remarked that she admired the love and gallantry the honoree displayed on that fateful day.
“That is the Rotary spirit. Giving without expecting rewards. When you begin to give without expecting rewards, you have taken the first step to immortality. You can see she is now immortal even though in physical death she is still being remembered. It is something to be emulated by all of us,” he added.
Past President of Rotary Club of Lagos, Dare Adeyeri, said: “The selection is very transparent. In this particular case, Rev Sister Henrietta came tops for the award from a long list of nominees.”
Since the incident, various individuals and organisations have also immortalised Rev. Sister Alokha. At a concert to mark the first anniversary of her death at Catholic Church of The Nativity, FESTAC Town. Lagos, the Special Guest of Honour and Presidential Candidate, Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, praised her bravery. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in 2020 also honoured Rev. Sr. Alokha, former Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, with a plaque in her honour and naming the then new 500-capacity Assembly Hall at the Air Force Secondary School (AFSS) after her.
Abubakar said: “Her bravery on that day paid off as no student of the college was lost to the deadly incident”.
Rev. Sister Alokha was born on May 11, 1963 in Estako East Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State to a family of six, where she was the fourth child. She attended Egbado Primary School, Agenebode, Vitrebo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Perpetual Profession of Vows. She had Bachelor’s Degree in Personnel Management, Masters and Doctorate in Educational Management in 2016.
Until her death, she was a teacher, and principal at eight Catholic schools.
She joined the congregation of Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus on November 7, 1983 and was received into the Novitiate, two years later. (Nation)