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Hon. Barr. Steve Oruruo’s Birthday: Celebrating an Amazing Rare Gift to Humanity
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Hon. Barr. Steve Oruruo’s Birthday: Celebrating an Amazing Rare Gift to Humanity 

Hon. Barr. Steve Oruruo’s Birthday: Celebrating an Amazing Rare Gift to Humanity

By Prince Ejeh Josh

 

In the words of the New York Times best-selling author, Mandy Hale, there’s nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others. Mandy’s timeless quote re-echoes hope for humanity inspired by men of goodwill who have stopped on nothing in recreating a better world in the face of pessimism, hostility and cynicism.

Some people have been keeping sleepless nights, working tirelessly behind the scene, making every move, however strenuous, to inspire the flame of greatness in others. They are like candles which burn to give light to others. They’re guided, not by self-gratification or driven by personal motive, but by conscience, love, passion and empathy for others. For them, their satisfaction is derived from the number of lives they impact positively, and change for better.
These people have been described as agents of hope, and catalyst for transformation in any society they found themselves. They will never stop doing good. They will never stop speaking and fighting for the voiceless. They go on, hunting for talents, discovering great potentials buried in the subconscious threshold of the slums. From the rubbles of the Frank Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth” to Kofi Awoonor’s “world’s extreme” squalid, they disentomb the greatness and prospects of men which have been laying fallow in perpetuity.

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I’ve seen few of this enigma in action. To this end, I’ve had a rare encounter with Honourable Barrister Steve Oluchukwu Oruruo! He prefers, however, to be addressed simply as “Steve”.

My meeting with Steve dates back to many years ago. I was a university student of Politics. A couple of us had attended a book club, a form of symposium, at the Nigerian Law School, called the Jaguar Book Club, and was particularly chaired by the celebrated author of the legendary novel; “Our Children are Coming”, HRH Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike.

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At the  symposium were scholars, literary critics, authors, poets, playwrights and students drawn from different walks of life. We had gathered to brainstorm and to learn. Among the dignitaries and discussants was introduced a political figure and a lawyer who was the State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon. Steve Oruruo. Some of us had dismissed the introduction with a ridiculous wave of hand. The verdict that he was a politician that might not contribute much to the intellectual discourse was hastily passed. But we were wrong, after all.
Minutes later, Steve left the Nigerian Law School Lecture Hall agog with a mixed frenzy with his lecture delivered extempore. The intelligentsia were forced to write. Students alike had to pen down most of his contemporary analyses of the socio-political and legal impediments to Nigeria’s democracy and the enduring panacea. Perhaps, 10 minutes time allotted to him gulped almost 2 hours. But we wanted more of him. The lecture was an eye-opener on the country’s fledging democracy, and how a new but people-oriented constitution and good leadership could define a new Nigeria of everybody’s dream.

From the Chairman, Professor Chukwuemeka came an exclamation and a rhetorical question: “Steve, are you a politician or an academic scholar? You’ve to choose one! You held us spellbound with your lecture. You raised disturbing issues and asked questions many people are afraid to ask.”  Steve’s lecture became a topic of discussion with many discussants sharply divided on how to romanticize the Nigerian Project.
The enthusiasm of getting consumed by the thrilling tempo, dexterous composure, navigational mastery of eloquence and the clarity of thoughts exuding from Steve left many of the students in the hall with the option of furthering our second degree in Law.

Steve couldn’t have appreciated the extent of his impression on some minds. Our contact with him, though, a distant one, was a turning point for many of us.
It never occurred to some of us, and to me in particular, that a day would come when I would meet Steve again.

Like the American’s Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, Darren Hardy, once noted: Commitment is doing the thing you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you. While running my post-graduate programme in 2014 somewhere at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, my friends where were already at the University of Nigeria, University of Port Harcourt, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, and University of Ibadan studying Law reminded me of our commitment few years back.
It was a hard decision for me. A gauntlet of trial! But I was ever convinced that the man I saw during the lecture series was, to borrow a leaf from the former US President, Ronald Reagan, “A shining city upon a hill.” I threw in my hat, picked the form and got the ball rolling. Because of Steve’s influence, I had to run my Master and Law programmes concurrently, one at Unizik and the other at the University of Nigeria without getting weary. Tracking his movement was very difficult but his words of encouragement kept resonating. And like a dream, those school boys that attended the lecture series are now all lawyers! Positive impact! Influence! Catalyst of change. Driver of empowerment and epitome of courage. Flame of audacity!

Few years after, by divine providence, I met Steve again. I wasn’t surprised at the cult-like followers he commands. He has his boys scattered all over the globe. If doing good and helping others to achieve their dreams could qualify one to be a global citizen, Hon. Steve should be one of the global citizens with his enormous impacts on the youths. Steve, from what I’ve seen, learned and known of him, would make himself uncomfortable for others to be comfortable. He would go out of his way to help others. Walking extra-miles for the greater good of the majority is a priority to him. Extending a helping hand, to him, is part of life itself. The beauty of life is adjudged by one’s ability to step down from his Olympian height just to lift up the lowly. That’s what Steve is doing; going about doing good, encouraging the growth of others and enkindling the flames of the timid and those at the world’s extreme.

Meeting Steve recently was a reassuring moment in my life. I’ve got to interact with other young ones, and was awed by the inspiration they have been garnering from the versatile administrator and youth influencer. He is, indeed, a blessing to our generation and a rare gift to humanity in general.
As a Legal Practitioner of about two decades post call or thereabout, Steve has a stint of practice and has established himself as a doyen of legal exposition. In the world of entrepreneurship, Steve is there. A property consultant and estate developer, his services have won him trust and accolades beyond his clientele base. That’s the impact of quality assurance, competence and efficient service delivery.

It is Steve’s awe-inspiring erudition and success stories in his  drive for entrepreneurial diversification in private sector that compelled governments at different levels to invite him into the public service in order to unleash his intellectual wand for the good of our society. To this extent, Steve had served Enugu State as a Secretary to the Peoples Democratic Party, Honourable Chairman, Enugu State Sports Council, and Member, Board of Directors, Voice of Nigeria.

It’s instructive and interesting too to learn the indispensable roles played by this unequalled sports administrator and commentator in shooting Enugu State Rangers Sports Club to the Olympian height in the comity of Nigerian football leagues in particular and African football leagues in general. At a time Enugu State sports were in disarray and faltering in failure; when there seemed to be no hope and no light at the end of the tunnel for the antelopes, Steve came in for a rescue mission. He mobilized and harnessed available lean resources for optimum use.
He drove motivation beyond the comprehension of sports analysts and had his tactical technique deployed into the arena of play. His teamwork spirit galvanized by making sure everyone in the sports sector was involved in the decision making box triggered triumph which broke over 30 years jinx in the industry. With him as the Chairman of Rangers, the young antelopes torpedoed their opponents, crushing every obstacle to victory. It was harvest of victory for Enugu State, and for Nigeria. The world saw Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi lifting up the trophies with the hymns of victory playing all over the media stations, and Enugu’s streets in ecstasy of joy. The taste of victory is sweet. It was a period that united the people of Enugu state. The opposition camps came together and drank from the same cup.

Presently, Steve serves as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information. It’s not surprising that he was appointed for the job, even when most people had felt he has more to offer, being a better media consultant, a wordsmith, and celebrated writer of all times who would not only drive more revenues to the government but also attract more investment to Enugu state. The Special Adviser has made the world go round with his peerless writing skills and amazing styles . In the media world, he is an enigma.
In Ben Carson’s “Gifted Hands”, the world renowned Surgeon and the 17th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carson noted the roles played by some people in influencing the world through their gifts. Steve has a multiple gifts which he effectively put to use. On a certain occasion, while having a friendly chat with Hon. Paul Nnajiofor, a high-ranking member representing the people of Nkanu East Constituency at the Enugu State House of Assembly, the orator confessed to the eloquence and Mark-Anthony-like-style of Steve. Barrister Steve is not just a celebrated speech maker, he’s also a renowned writer. He’s ambidextrously gifted!

Today, I hope Steve will look back at the journey so far, see the thousands of boys he has made men, fetched food on their tables, taught how to fish and fend for themselves and their families, and count his blessings. The fact that his has been a blessing to us, a beacon of light and hope, and a torchbearer is a call for celebration. It’s a testimony of thanksgiving and praises to God Almighty.

It is on the strength of the above that I draw the undying inspiration to wish Hon. Barrister Steve Oluchukwu Oruruo an amazing happy birthday. Many more years ahead. Congratulations!

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