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Insider Perspective: Extolling the Uncommonness and Invaluability of the Goals and Virtues of Steve Oruruo Foundation
Opinion

Insider Perspective: Extolling the Uncommonness and Invaluability of the Goals and Virtues of Steve Oruruo Foundation 

INSIDER PERSPECTIVE: EXTOLLING THE UNCOMMONNESS AND INVALUABILITY OF THE GOALS AND VIRTUES OF STEVE ORURUO FOUNDATION

By Okenwa Cyril.

American Martin Luther King Jr., once said ”Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”.

Regrettably, humanity is inclined more to inhumanity, greed and selfishness, to wit. Insatiable and horrible selfishness!

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How noble and plausible it is for one to elect to be an apostle of altruism. To this end, we draw a reflection on this Charisma known as Steve Oruruo.

Hon. Steve Oruruo, to God’s glory is the Special Adviser to the Enugu State governor on Information. Over the years he has earned and sustained himself a reputation and popularity in public domain through captivating brilliance and versatility, exemplary, distinctive and consistent strength of character, high sense of judgement and just mind, prevailing opinions, magic wand of winning ideas, excellent and resourceful deliveries in private life and in public life, giftedness, and humanitarianism. Steve Oruruo has a history of making history. He is The Founder/CEO Steve Oruruo Foundation.

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THE STEVE ORURUO FOUNDATION

Revered Indian founding father and statesman, Mahatma Gandhi once said *”The best way to find ourselves is to lose yourself in the service of others”* .

The disciple known as Steve Oruruo is synonymous with charity and philanthropism. The Heavenly Charity Index bears witnesses of his discreet exploits in this regard. One remarkable character trait of Oruruo is that he is studiedly repugnant to advertizing his humanitarian deeds. He has done a lot in the distant past and in recent times that attracted the attentions of both mainstream and social media but he characteristically earmarked strict compliance with his standing instruction not to publish his charitable deeds. Not just that he strongly frowns at media hypes and frenzies, he detests making shows of charitable deeds. For him, it’s making mockery of charity and its author — God; and nothing can be more appalling.

But here comes the bursting point in his desire to widen the scope and to increase the density of his humanitarian proclivity to the scale of an institution of charity, hence the arduous but fulfilling task of birthing *STEVE ORURUO FOUNDATION* which had been his lifelong dream. Taking it to this higher realm confers on it a corporate status, identity and outlook. Naturally, administratively the activities of the Foundation cannot be concealed; if not for any other reason, to imbibe translucence, elicit support, and encourage emulation.

Steve Oruruo through his Foundation whose foundation is God, seeks to committedly serve God and humanity, and by so doing, contributorily and actively be playing his own part in this history-making leadership of Enugu State by diligently supporting the administration of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, The Executive Governor of Enugu State whom his Marxist Principle keeps firmly entrenched in a populist ideology that has kept the people at the centre and soul of his governance model.

In view of this support, Oruruo who in so many other ways is strongly committed and frontal in the support and projection of this administration’s ideals, through this excellent initiative indexes a special layer of support and identification with His Excellency in his triumphant strides in the education sector and in rural development.

Inclining to the popular axiom that charity begins at home, this renowned public intellectual, Hon. Steve Oruruo who seeks to through his Foundation pull more souls out of the dungeon and ashes of despair, downtroddenness, quandary and disorientation, in one of his recent concerns for educational excellence revival and prioritization in his hometown Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State approached the principal, teachers and students of Akpugo High School, where he in the time past was nurtured, to declare his spirited desire to stir and provoke academic brilliance consciousness, discipline, and sports culture in and among the students. This was borne out of his innate hardline passion for education, discipline and sports. He has never left any in doubt of his strong advocacy and clearheadedness about the renaissances of the trio as vital tools for preparing, developing and engineering the teeming school children and students for a better and prosperous future. For him, the culture shock being brandished by these leaders of tomorrow in these three areas that are critical to their development and future ought to be urgently addressed. His standpoint is that their today should be salvaged, repositioned and structured as a springboard in instilling and guaranteeing hope in an inspiring tomorrow. Correlatedly, being conscious of how connected and devouted his late father, His Royal Highness, Igwe Uwakwe Agbo Oruruo, a consummate educationist who until his recent death was the Chairman of the school’s PTA, was to the school during his lifetime, Hon. Steve Oruruo as a way of giving back to the society chose to uphold in the school one of the paramount legacies of the late sage.

The world currently evolves fastly, and more so at a supersonic speed. And the era is tagged Digital Age. The speed and trajectory of knowledge drive in this era are steadily on the increase. But dishearteningly, the dispositions of the majority of school children and students in our clime especially in the rural communities smack of nonchalance, chronic laxity, flagrant misplacement of priority, warped educational perception, intellectual apathy, and stark insensitivity and imperviousness to the educational realities of today, and the inescapable educational and survival demands of tomorrow. It is alarmingly worrisome to helplessly watch the rate at which these chaps have with careless abandonement and crass ignominy relegated reading culture, academic hard work, eruditeness, discipline, and passion for sports to the graveyard of apocalyptic wilderness. Implicitly lost in a world of no where, these leaders of tomorrow and their futures urgently need to be salvaged.

Consequently therefore, out of his burning desire to reverse the ugly and tragic trend, Oruruo, a strong advocate of human capital development, a genius, and an incurable optimist who rose to prominence via a roadmap of sustained hard work and envisioned choice along the noble path of intellectualism, intervenes in his capacity to impact his positive model on the students of Akpugo High School through the instrumentality of Steve Oruruo Foundation. A couple of months ago when he visited the school to make the declaration, crowning his life-changing and incisive turnaround admonition of the students, he pledged to on annual basis be dishing out prizes to best three students per class in the whole school. Such laudable initiative of healthy academic competitiveness and viability among the students surely, creates and instills in their psyches, academic brilliance consciousness and the ambition to excell in life. It is about the soul of their future. It is about developing and framing decent minds that in turn guarantee saner, safer, and more prosperous society.

Promise made, promise kept.

That day that would come, surely came. In fulfillment of the promise which historically took place on Thursday the 30th of September, 2021; the world of Akpugo High School was greeted with all the imaginable thrills and booms of a day that would come, a day that was looked up to, a day that has marked a new dawn for the students and their destinies, a day of the students being placed on the threshold of defined life, success and excellence; a day of history. The school witnessed an unprecedented aura of reckoning as the plane of Steve Oruruo Foundation touched down the ground of the school in grand style.

The event which in all thankfulness to God Almighty for the grace of clement weather and all-round success, was robed and showcased in an uncommon taste and degree of uniqueness. It indeed was a preachment and enthronement of an undiluted gospel of education and intellectualism. What more can be said of the uniqueness when you had the right mix of galaxy of seasoned academics and intellectuals drawn from various disciplines and walks of life not just as resource persons and inspirers to the students but as specially dignified drivers of the occasion from the pointview of hierarchy of the hightable? To mention but a few, the day’s occasion had *Pa Richard Asiegbu*, a retired FRCN veteran and legendary broadcaster as *THE SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR*. Pa Asiegbu shall for ages be remembered for standing tall as an integral member of three best ever veteran sports commentators produced by Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) whom I have chosen to tag ‘The Three Wisemen’. What the late Ernest Okonkwo, Emeka Odikpo and Richard Asiegbu did in sports broadcasting remains unrivalled in the whole of Africa. Pa Asiegbu who is currently grooming talents that will soon take the centre stage of broacasting in this part of the world already has his son soaring very high in the noble profession. Also, the occasion had a graceful daughter of Akpugo, Dr. Ifeoma E. Nwafor, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu as *The Guest Speaker*. It was remarkably a splendid flow of educational spring water from an alluring fountain of intellectualism for the rebirth of academic hardwork and brilliance.

Other dignitaries, intellectuals and academics that graced the event to contribute their own quota of inspiration were Dr. Samuel Nwatu, Dean Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus who is an Akpugo indigene; Prof. S. Gozie Ogbodo, SJD, Dean Faculty of Law, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu who is also from Akpugo; Rt. Hon. Iloabuchi Aniagu, member Enugu State House of Assembly; Rt. Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, also member Enugu State House of Assembly; Hon. Barr. Jonathan Chukwuma, SPA to the Governor; Rt. Hon. Erochukwu Ugwueze, SPA to the Governor; Hon. Colonel Onwubuya, SPA to the Governor; Chief Ikeji Asogwa, Chairman, ENSUBEB ably represented; Hon. Manfred Nzekwe, Commissioner for Youth and Sports also ably represented; Barr. Udodirim Oruruo, former Executive Director, National Orientation Agency; Mrs Amaka Oruruo, wife of The of The Founder of the Foundation; Dr. Clifford Ofor Nnaji, CEO, Fordmarx Nig. Ltd; Dr. Jude Oguejiofor Chukwu, senior university lecturer also from Akpugo; Hon. James Okereke Akadu, House Committee Chairman on Education; Mr. Chibuike Nwatu, senior lecturer, ESUT also from Akpugo. Others were, Hon. John Ogbodo (Johnnynash), Deputy Chairman, Nkanu West LGA; Chief Friday Edeh (FACO), CEO, Castle Majestic Hotels, Enugu; Hon. Ambrose Edeh, the image of the school’s football history and relevant personal sacrifice; Dr. Igatta Thomas Ogbonna, Principal, Akpugo High School; and a host of others who came from far and near. Chief Sir. Nwabueze Nnamani (Ikeoha), The Executive Chairman, Nkanu West LGA understandably couldn’t attend due to the demise of his mother.

On a very highly regrettable note, another Very Important Personality who kept singing with the date of the event but unfortunately missed out is His Excellency Geoffrey Onyeama, The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs. We recall that he was part of the presidential delegation to the just concluded United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in United States. Being a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he is currently observing the mandatory isolation period in compliance with the rules.

Then came the apex moment which was the presentations of the awards and prizes to the deserving students. To the surprise of everyone, Hon. Steve Oruruo raised the bar of the presentations by drawing up other categories of awards and prizes outside the initial promise. Also additionally as an icing on the cake, those best three students of each class were each recognizably given magnificient Brilliance Award Plaques in the name of, and by the Foundation. The resonating and most significant aspect of the award presentation segment was when Dr. Clifford Ofor Nnaji, The CEO, Fordmarx Nig. Ltd on the spot awarded scholarship up to master’s degree level in any academic discipline of choice, in any university of choice, in any part of the world to a relatively little but super-erudite Master Njoku Joseph who emerged the best student in JSS 1B. It turned out emotional for the chap and the parents, who from investigations are struggling in the low rung of economic ladder.

Furthermore, Oruruo and his Foundation donated two complete sets of ultra-quality footballing equipment of branded jersies accompanied with football boots, hoses, shinguards, and lots of FIFA graded footballs for both the male and female football teams of the school.

Hon. Steve Oruruo who throughout the occasion was visibly radiant with joy, in his remarks recognized and welcomed one after the other, all the dignitaries, guests and invities, and indeed everybody that attended the occasion. He once again admonished the students emphasizing that education is the passport to the future. He rounded off by once again eloquently appreciating everyone for coming.

Leveraging on this golden window of opportunities, it is expected that the lives and mentalities of these lads shall witness a holistic turnaround towards the direction of excellence after becoming graced with the invaluable mentorship, reawakening, talent-moulding, and inspirational touches of this youth-friendly Steve Oruruo. Indeed it is divinely providential to come in contact with him; just as by extention, it is a special privilege for these students through the historic outreach to be exposed to the priceless touches of the topnotch members of the academia, distinguished personalities, legends and veterans that have sacrificially offered inspirations and impacts to them in the extraordinary occasion.

One significance that insightfully calls for recognition, reflection and appreciation is the groundswell of support that Steve Oruruo and his Foundation received in the historic event. It was incredible to behold the magnitude and cream of dignitaries and personages that squeezed out time from their respective tight schedules to grace the occasion. And also not to talk of the unprecedented large turnout despite being intended to be a closed circuit sort of event. It speaks volumes of the acceptability, consciousness, personality, and hope known as Steve Oruruo whose strongly emerging credo will hopefully soon translate into a trend, a prevailing practical trend that will monumentally throw up the desired changes in our nation, and become cast in gold as a model both for this generation and many more to come in accordance with Divine Will.

Scientia est potentia

What more can be said, or how best can it be summarized, Steve Oruruo’s interest and call for the practical conceptualization of the school’s motto by these wonderful and promising students? Scientia est potentia is the Latin translation for ”Knowledge Is Power” which is the school’s motto. Sir Francis Bacon, an ancient British philosopher and statesman could not be truer when he in his work, ‘Meditationes Sacrae’ (1597), published ”knowledge is itself power”. This philosophical statement is an eternal truth that is itself the only nuclear energy that shatters and pulverizes the Jericho Wall called ignorance and its attendant darkness, bondage and doom. Thankfully therefore, ”knowledge is power” being the motto of the school, Steve Oruruo as a voice of reason, reform, foresight and diligence clamours that the minds of the students of Akpugo High School at all times should be vigorously and attentively focused, and encouraged to be focused on this motto. He firmly posits that students should first of all decidedly come to the party with prepared and receptively ready minds for education as a mark of seriousness. It is the fundamental bitter truth they must tell themselves individually. That’s the only way they can complement the efforts of their parents and, or guardians, teachers, and the government in training them to become useful to themselves and the society; more so now that Enugu State is graced with an education-friendly governor in the person of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi.

What a history; and what a way to make it? What a precedent; and what a way to set it? A legacy, an engaging and enduring legacy so priceless to behold. In trailling this blaze in Akpugo High School, with history putting it down in his symbolic name, and posterity upholding it in remembrance of his altruistic self, Steve Oluchukwu Oruruo, a strong character, and a bastion of humility and piety takes no glory or any form of personal aggrandizement. Rather he ascribes it all to God. His only gratification and satisfaction shall be to see the monumental fruitfulness of the whole sacrifice which he hopes to outlive him and this generation. And may God in whose heart he has tabernacled the whole gamut of the endeavour, crown it all with the desired successes, and in return bless him accordingly. These, we ask through Christ our Lord.

 

Okenwa Cyril, The 7th Senior Prefect of the school, and renowned Criminologist, this time writes from Enugu. 

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