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Chief Evarest Nnaji Odengene’s Birthday: Celebrating an Astute Entrepreneur and Uncommon Humanitarian
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Chief Evarest Nnaji Odengene’s Birthday: Celebrating an Astute Entrepreneur and Uncommon Humanitarian 

Chief Evarest Nnaji Odengene’s Birthday: Celebrating an Astute Entrepreneur and Uncommon Humanitarian

By Prince Ejeh Josh

In the magnificent words of Lord Ni (Confucius), an all time celebrated Chinese political philosopher, reformer, instructor and paragon of Chinese sages, “A man of humanity is one who…desiring attainment for himself, helps others to attain their goals.” This is true of one of the unrivalled minds of our time, Chief Evarest Nnaji Odengene, a household name in major entrepreneurial conglomerates in the Nigeria.

Captain Evarest Nnaji Odengene, fondly called “Odengene” by business associates, friends, and the public, has come to assume a household name in Enugu State and beyond. It was not a popularity gained by luck, media campaigns, or political movement. It’s simply a name that has, over the years, become synonymous with goodwill, philanthropy, humanitarian champion, human rights defender, free education, scholarship, freedom and emancipation of the oppressed. It’s with a dint of struggle in search for a just world for humanity, and the desire to give back to the society that the Odengene Peoples Movement became a force and triumph of light over darkness for humankind.

Like the French theologia-physician, Albert Schweitzer, would aptly note in his natural principle of contentment: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve others. Chief Odengene, in all sincerity, has found satisfaction and contentment in doing what he knows how best to do; service to humanity. Such services have always been selfless. He does it without the glare of the media. Yet he keeps the good works flying. He keeps turning lives around. He keeps lifting people from dungeons to the palace. He keeps sponsoring young minds in entrepreneurship and leadership mentoring. His positive impacts have been interrogating many minds with an imposed moral duty to key into the same venture of uplifting humanity.

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Chief Evarest Nnaji

While all these great works are ongoing, engaging the media to showcase these uncommon feats and flair for human emancipation, to him, is needless. However, like the timeless legal axiom of “res ipsa loquitur” has been indelibly engraved in the hearts of men, Chief Odengene’s selfless service to humanity has become a common philosophy intrinsically written in the minds of the people. The facts of Chief’s uncommon humanitarian gestures are speaking loudly for him.

It’s pertinent to, once again, ask this question: Who is Chief Odengene? While many people have been celebrating his exploits and humanitarian feats, not many seem to know him beyond that. His entrepreneurial prowess and corporate dexterity appeared to have eclipsed his super intellectual records, oscillating from one of the most technical disciplines, Aviation, to behavioural sciences like Political Science, etc. It takes an intellectual and an uncommon enigma to switch courses and disciplines and remain focused as a topnotch prodigy.

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Although, his exploits in the business, corporate and academic world including his aristocratic background would see him fall in the elite class in the rung of the economic ladder, Chief Odengene, a Us-trained Pilot, and distinguished alumnus of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) from the prestigious Department of Political Science, would neither consider himself as one nor see himself as someone who should be operating from the Olympian height. His reasoning is even more inspirational than many would imagine. Chief Odengene has always stepped down from that height of flamboyance and aloofness many of his contemporaries have placed themselves just to identify with the people. That’s humility par excellence. More inspiring is the fact that he runs an open door policy. His office and residence are comfort zones for the general public. That’s a kind of leader the world urgently need in a world sharply divided by economic imbalances and unimaginable class vaults.

As a successful entrepreneur who started from the scratch, towering to the status of an international investor, and managing multi-billion dollars business conglomerates such as:
1. Odengene Air Shuttle Services Limited (OAS Helicopters) Nigeria.
2. Odengene Air Shuttle, Inc. (USA)
3. Odengene Group of Companies Ltd
4. Electrostatic Laser World.
5. OAS Offshore Logistics Ltd, etc, despite the economic recession bedeviling the country, one would readily be compelled by awe-struck admiration to salute his enterprising spirit and innovative drives, adjusting and re-adjusting to the peculiarity of economic fluctuations. Uncommon entrepreneurs like him are needed in Nigeria’s position of leadership today to deploy the same business intelligence and mastery to reorganize the economy, reform the moribund and rigid economic platforms from which the country has been operating.

What determines and, indeed, defines the character of every great mind is their responsiveness to their environment. Chief Odengene, in his sojourn in the private sector as a leading entrepreneur in services, production and technology, has mentored a great number of young ones who are doing amazingly great in their own businesses. That’s the true definition of leadership. Many households and families have become economically viable through of Odengene’s spirited gestures. He believes in hard work and would never hesitate helping people attain their dreams through sponsored trainings both in Nigeria and in many countries of the western world. Offering free education (scholarship) from primary school level to university level to hundreds of students by him is no longer news. Setting up businesses for the youths in a bid to empower them to become productive citizens and useful to themselves and their families has also become an established bromide. Odengene’s Foundation, a foundation floated by Chief Evarest Nnaji as a way of giving back to the society, has become a blessing to thousands of households. The foundation is dedicated to the economic emancipation of the less privileged, education of the indigents, defence of the weak and defenceless, hope for the despondent, voice for the voiceless, and corporate social responsibility.

Today, Chief Odengene marks, yet another golden and meaningful life on earth. A purposeful life dedicated to serve God and humanity. A life through which tens of thousands of people have drawn inspiration. A life repute for community development services. A life known for nation-building. A life that will continue to make meaning to the good people of Enugu State. And what do we wish this godly life? Abundance of grace. Good health of mind and body. More windows of hope. More services. More leadership assignments. God’s grace and goodness. Happy Birthday, Chief Captain Evarest Nnaji Edeh (Odengene). Congratulations.

Prince Ejeh Josh, a Legal Practitioner and Security Strategist, writes from Independence Layout, Enugu.

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