Okotie’s Household Of God Honours Former Queen’s College Principal, Mrs Efunjoke Coker
It was a swell night of glamour and glitz at the Household of God Ministries, Oregun, Lagos as the 2016 edition of the church’s G.R.A.C.E. and the Karis Awards were held on Sunday 18 December.
At the yearly event, ‘GRACE’, a popular love feast of the church, which takes place every last Sunday before Christmas, Mrs. Iphigenia Efunjoke Coker, an old student, a former Vice-Principal and the first Nigerian and longest-serving Principal of Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos (1963-1977). was honoured with the Karis Award.
Mrs Coker, MA, MFR, was honoured in recognition of her various contributions to education and the society at large.
In 1979, Mrs. Coker was conferred with the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFR. As the then principal of Queens College, Yaba, she transformed the school into the premier school for girls in Nigeria and instilled moral values in the girls, including hard work, honesty and respect. Many of the students who attended the College under her watch have risen to national and international prominence.
She voluntarily retired as principal of the school after 14 years in the saddle, making her the longest serving principal of Queens College.
Even in retirement, she has continued to serve the nation and humanity in several capacities.
Mrs. Coker has served as a member of the governing council of both the University of Ibadan and the Yolanda Polytechnic.
She has also been president of the Zonta International Club of Lagos and for eight years, she was the president of the Red Cross Society in Lagos State. Her tenure as president of the society saw tremendous progress in the areas of physical development and service delivery.
Because of these worthy achievements, the church considered her worthy and bestowed on her the prestigious Karis award and a cash reward of N2 million.
Past awardees include the late Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed, Mallam Aminu Kano, Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Dr. Tai Solarin, DIG Chris Omeben, Oba Funsho Adeola, Chief (Mrs) Magaret Ekpo, and Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
The event established in 1990 by Rev. Chris Okotie, was the church’s way of recognising, giving cash donations and support to four charity organisations – The Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, The Sunshine Foundation, The Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria and The Strong Tower Mission.
In 1996 however, the event took a greater dimension with the introduction of Karis Award.
The Karis Award is mainly for the recognition of, and giving of an award along with a cash reward to a Nigerian (living or dead) who had distinguished himself/herself through his/her contribution to the development of Nigeria in one area or the other but whose contribution has not been recognised adequately or at all.
At this year edition, aside the Karis Award and cash donations to the notable charity organisations, the event also witnessed the traditional ‘Red Carpet’, the G.R.A.C.E song, the Queen Esther Beauty and Costume Pageant, hit gospel songs written, arranged and composed by Rev. Chris Okotie.
The guests also cherish the well decorated and well-lit Christmas trees that illuminate the long stretch of the road where the church was located.
Among the dignitaries that attended the event are Brig.Gen. Mobolaji Johnson (former Military Governor of Lagos State) who chaired the occasion; representative of the Special Guest of Honour, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Executive Governor of Lagos State; representative of The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; representatives of presidents of Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria; Pastor Paul Adefarasin of House on the Rock; Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of Trinity House; Bishop George Amu of Goodnews Bible Church and numerous celebrities.
Celebrated actor and media personality Patrick Doyle anchored the event.