PRINCE INNOCENT ELEOGU: Glimmer of Light From Ikwuano

Prince Innocent Eleogu, the President of Ariam-Usaka Professionals.
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PRINCE INNOCENT ELEOGU: Glimmer of Light From Ikwuano

Three blind men were brought forward to feel an elephant and tell the world what an elephant looked like.

The first blind man who touched the leg described the elephant as a giant pillar.

The second blind man who touched the big tommy of the elephant described it as a big balloon.

The last blind man described the elephant as a big mat because he touched its ears.

At the end, none of the men was able to give a comprehensive description of the elephant, because each man reported from a limited point of observation. This gives credence to the postulation that perceptions are relative and opinions are formed based on perceptions.

Although not yet in the corridors of power, the name, ‘Prince Innocent Eleogu’ has over the years been a household name.
This is as a result of the innumerable magnanimous roles he has played, and act which has brought about glimmers of hope to many.

Evidently, the people-oriented Prince of
Ariam-Usaka has overtime, through his benevolent activities, restored hope to some of the poor and destitute in Ikwuano community and beyond.

Saying that Prince Eleogu represents a mirror through which wealth transcends to the pauper in the society, is an understatement.

Many people view Prince Innocent Eleogu from different perspectives. While some describe him as a trail blazer, others see him as a pace setter whereas to most individuals, he stands as a lighthouse that beams out hope to its constituent ‘vessels’ on the open seas.

Spin 95.3 FM has done marvelously by featuring this article. It gives opportunity to scholars and curious observers to try to dissect or unbundle this personality wrapped in humility and simplicity. Like one of the proverbial reporters on the elephant, the media house has said what it knows from its limited observatory point.

The caption, ‘Prince Innocent Eleogu, beacon of hope in Azunchai’ is like localizing an accomplished international actor. It’s like restricting a big fish to a shallow pool. It’s like limiting an ocean-going vessel to a canal. Therefore, Prince Innocent Eleogu, a beacon of hope from Azunchai would have sufficed.

Prince Innocent Eleogu’s philanthropic activities transcend Azunchai. It transcends Ariam/Usaka. It is felt far beyond the shores of Ikwuano and Abia state.

Below are few among the positive impacts of Prince Eleogu across the four clans of Ikwuano Local Government Area and beyond:

Scholarships
The list of beneficiaries under his education scholarship within public view, captures names of numerous indigenes from Ariam/ Usaka, Ikwuano LGA, Abia state. It’s never limited to Azunchai. ( We can’t be compelled to mention names here because it’s an act of charity).

Skill Acquisitions and Apprenticeship Scheme
Under this arrangement, the Prince brings in young men from Azunchai and other villages whom he makes to understudy him directly in his line of business. After some years when he is sure that such trainees have fully understood the nitty gritty of the business, he sets them up on their own and continues to support them to blossom. I know lots of people up to Umuahia that are currently benefiting from this scheme, not only Azunchai.

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Business Patronage
Prince Innocent Eleogu has fully embraced the Jewish business concept of patronizing his own people. The Jews would never patronize an outsider unless none of them is in the line of business. They believe in rotating their wealth between themselves. From building houses, roofing, plumbing, electrical, painting, printing, freight forwarding, to all manner of artisans, he believes in patronizing his own people because according to him, whatever profit such artisans would make will impact on our local economy one way or another. It’s only in extreme situations he engages outsiders. Otherwise, as long as there’s an Ariam/Usaka or Ikwuano indigene who can do it, he goes for him/her.

Prince in the community
His passionate drive to change the narrative of Ariam/Usaka, Ikwuano and Abia state is legendary. For example:

  1. Electricity
    The Prince was among a few of Ariam/Usaka compatriots who came together and contributed hundreds of thousands each to revive the Ariam/ Usaka electricity project when all hopes for the government to complete the project seemed lost.
  2. Revival of AUDU
    He was one of the arrowheads in the re-launching of the moribund Ariam/Usaka Development Union, and by this feat, ensured that Ariam/Usaka Clan has a central government to oversee her affairs till today.

3.COVID-19 pandemic During this period of global uncertainty, his sacrificial passion for his people became so manifest that he had to coordinate Clan-wide medical and food palliative program for Ariam/Usaka, mobilizing human and material resources within and without the clan to ensure no life was lost in Ariam/Usaka due to the scourge. Neither was any family starved as foodstuffs and funds were distributed to the needy who were not actually incapacitated but were rendered so due to the pandemic.

  1. Road Construction
    He contributes immensely to the patch-up of inner roads in Ariam/ Usaka. Before the intervention of Barrister K.C Ugboaja to extend the Iyi ola road to Obugwu, Prince was in charge of the clan fundraising committee to construct and asphalt the road from Iyi ola up to Obugwu roundabout. When the intervention surprisingly came, his committee diverted all money raised in this direction to Ugwuegbu Erosion site.
  2. Donations
    Prince is always among the top 5 highest donors for any project in Ariam/ Usaka. A random check on records of donors for projects, not only in Ariam Usaka but also in Ikwuano will lend credence to this assertion.
  3. Prince as Peace Ambassador During the border crisis between parts of Ikwuano LGA and her neighbors of Akwa Ibom state, he did his best to ensure that peace returned to the troubled communities. He deployed his long reach and made useful contacts to high government officials, which resulted in a wide pool of efforts for effective peace to return.
  4. Contribution to the emergence of a New government in Abia
    The Prince participated actively to effect a change of guards in the political landscape of Abia state. This he did by forming an effective synergy with his friends from Ariam/Usaka and outside the clan, by which they mobilize over 90% of Ariam Usaka electorates to queue behind His Excellency, Dr Alex Chioma Otti and the Labour party. It wasn’t a child’s play to convince the people that something good could come out of a new government after several decades of dashed hopes.
  5. Selfless Disposition
    On the eve of the 2023 general elections, which coincided with the 7th year anniversary of the demise of his late father and which also marked the 83rd birthday of his dear mother, the Prince organized a private event to honour the occasion. However, this humble occasion drew the high and mighty in the state to the little village of Azunchai, making it a pilgrim of sort for politicians, as they jostled over one another for endorsement. Being a powerful Stakeholder in the clan, every politician came with all sorts of offers to secure an endorsement. Before now, all it took the politicians to get clan endorsement was by tossing few wads of new naira notes to the people and thereby stealing their votes. And such money was usually shared under the “eye wey see” framework. This time around it was a different ball game entirely. The Prince and his friends told the politicians point-blank that the era of cash and carry politics was over in Ariam/Usaka. That the wool is off our eyes. Ariam Usaka has come of age. Pointing at the unacceptable infrastructural negligence in the clan, he practically took the politicians to the Ugwuegbu Erosion gully and other relics that symbolize our collective shame and reproach as a people. It was after this engagement that the then government was compelled to issue a cheque of #20m to tackle the erosion menace which was already threatening homes and roads.
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He has through this act, exhibited an uncommon degree of selflessness thereby distinguishing himself from thousands of others who would have used the opportunity of the private event to amass wealth from politicians to build mansions at Umuahia, Owerri, Lagos and acquire a fleet of cars which they can’t maintain when their party is out of power. Neither did he do “eye wey see” with his men over the #20m to the detriment of Ariam/ Usaka interest. But he prioritized Ariam/Usaka above self.

The epistle of this gentleman cannot be concluded in one treatise. No man knows all about a man, except the spirit of a man who lives in him. Even my humble self, like one of the three blind men, I’m also reporting from my own limited perspective. Because all men see in part, and narrate in part. A personality like Prince is still an unfolding phenomenon and so remains many things to many people. _Agwo ka adi aputa la onu. (The snake is yet to come out of the hole).

Our prayer is that God will continue to lead him, and by His grace, through him, individual and collective destinies shall be positively transformed. My American friend will say “We ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Come April 3rd 2024, what started as a silent act of charity shall be formally introduced to the global stage, bigger and better packaged to the glory of God and for greater service to humanity.

By Famous Reporters

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