Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has poured encomiums on business mogul and Anambra-born billionaire, Prince Arthur Eze, for donating a N100 million to the socio-cultural body to help fund its activities.
Ohanaeze in a statement issued Monday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, described Prince Eze as an illustrious and worthy son of Igbo whose philanthropic gestures have no parallel.
The statement said that the donation was in fulfillment of an earlier pledge by Prince Eze to Ohanaeze on July 10.
According to the statement the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atlas Oranto Petroleum Ltd, had said that the President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, should not be stressed or made to fund Ohanaeze from his personal pocket.
The oil magnet was quoted as arguing that Iwuanyanwu had paid his dues for the Igbo race, and should not be made to suffer again while serving the Igbo nation.
“Prince Eze while speaking to an assemblage of Ndigbo at the Imo State Government Lodge, Asokoro Abuja on July 10, 2023, lamented that Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by one of the most brightest and pre-eminent amongst the Igbo, a highly revered icon in Nigeria; and an accomplished Titan in business, Chief Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR (Ahaejiagamba) should be stressed by funding Ohanaeze activities from his pockets.
“Eze stated that Chief Iwuanyanwu has paid his dues to the Igbo in diverse ways beginning from the war times,” the statement said.
It further quoted Prince Eze as commending the development agenda espoused by Chief Iwuanyanwu on how the Igboland can be transformed using the Igbo natural endowments and creative potentials.
“Eze supported the visionary dynamic of Chief Iwuanyanwu on how he will lift Ohanaeze from its present habitat and provenance to a glorious and enviable pedestal where it can command the followership and loyalty of all Igbo, both at home and in the Diaspora.”
The statement described Eze’s trajectory as “an inspiring testament to the biblical injunctions of charity; and an admonition to the uninitiated scarcity thinkers that limit their horizon to self-satisfaction.”
Chief Iwuanyanwu, according to the statement, described the Anambra-born billionaire as “a trail blazer; a worthy Igbo son who is always actuated by a deep sense of empathy, affection and an over-flowing kindness.”
Ohanaeze showered blessings on Eze and all those who have supported the activities of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body.
The statement further read: “Similarly, a good spirited businessman, has also donated a set of seats to Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Secretariat; another prominent Igbo son provided a space to Ohanaeze when we were in Lagos on a visit to the Alaba tragedy; yet another businessman hosted us to a dinner, and some others.
“The former Governor of Imo State, Sen. Rochas Okorocha started a gigantic project at the Secretariat, etc. The list of all the benefactors will be made public at an appropriate time.
“While we wait for the day of reckoning, Ohanaeze cannot withhold an immense gratitude to the Governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodimma for his relentless supports to the organisation.”
The statement said that “Iwuanyanwu recalled that while Uzodimma was in the Senate, he was the only Igbo senator amongst his colleagues that looked the way of Ohanaeze.”
Ohanaeze urged other Igbo sons and daughters to emulate Prince Eze, and support the socio-cultural organisation in its bid to advance the Igbo cause.