CELEBRATING A GLOBAL HERO AT 71ST YEARS OF AGE;PRINCE ENGR.(DR) ARTHUR EZE, OFR OZOIGBONDU.
Prince Engr Arthur Eze, Ozoigbondu, the royal prince of Ukpo and son of late Igwe Michael A. Eze, Okofia V needs no introduction. Ozoigbondu, Authority, Otomkpa, Ebube Ukpo, Ara na azu uwa, Omeluora, Kangiwa Gawu Babangida among others are all names attributed to one man,Prince Engr Arthur Eze. Though not a fan of titles Prince Engr Arthur Eze has been given numerous titles all to describe who he is to the people. A young man once exclaimed in Abuja after meeting Prince Engr Arthur Eze ‘may I be cursed if I ever say I have not met God’. To him a meeting with Prince Engr Arthur Eze can only be a divine encounter and blessing.
The Prince of Niger, has remained a blessing to humanity. In living true to himself and his God, he has blessed lives over four decades of uninterrupted philanthropy. Prince Engr Arthur Eze was born a Prince in Dunukofia ancient kingdom. Precisely Prince Engr Arthur Eze was born on 25th November 1948 at Ukpo. The then young Prince Engr Arthur Eze was promptly sent to school to acquire western education.
Prince Engr Arthur Eze attended elementary schools at home and within Ukpo neighbourhood. But thereafter in 1970 proceeded to St Augustine Secondary School in Nkwere for secondary education. At St Augustine Secondary, young Prince Engr Arthur Eze developed interest in mechanical engineering and would later gain admission into California State University at Long Beach. Admitted into California State University he studied Mechanical and Chemical Engineering and graduated with a degree in engineering 1974.
Upon return to Nigeria the industrious Prince Engr Arthur Eze now a fresh graduate of engineering put to use his education. The then relatively virgin nation just recovering from civil war provided him with the opportunities to excel. As a youngman very good in what he learnt Prince Engr Arthur Eze became successful in executing very challenging government projects. He efficiency in executing projects saw him working in many parts of the country particularly northern Nigeria.
A generous man from day one Prince Engr Arthur Eze quickly made friends and built new associates. His sincere and generous lifestyle endeared him to many and opened great doors to success. Today his life still testifies this grace of God Almighty. He is the founder of the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa
Prince Engr Arthur Eze founded Atlas Oranto Petroleum in 1991 for oil exploration activities in West Africa, and was able to incorporate it two years later. To date, the company is the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa. The company’s acreage continues to grow, and just two oil blocks alone can produce more than 100,000 barrels of crude oil each day.
Aside Prince Engr Arthur Eze’s interest in oil business, he has without seeking government portfolios continues to support good governance. Prince Engr Arthur Eze is a courageous critic of failed government but a fan of any government providing basic social amenities especially for the poor and less privileged. One particular incident always come to mind. It is the 23rd anniversary celebration of Abia State in August 2014. Prince Engr Arthur Eze was invited by the then Gov. T.A. Orji to speak about the success and development of Abia State. A no nonsense Prince Engr Arthur Eze shocked guests and members of the media when, rather than praise, he said, “Abia is stinking. Right from the Abia Tower in Umuahia, the rot hits you. Abia State is now the state dirtiest in the country. Garbage everywhere, along with bad roads. The people are really suffering, and you see it in their faces…What are the senators, the members of House of Representatives and other elected people doing? Nothing.” Prince Engr Arthur Eze dropped the microphone and walked off after speaking his mind.
In the Eastern Nigeria Prince Engr Arthur Eze is addressed as the godfather. Top Nigeria political figures often refer him as such. No doubt no one doles out the kind of money he donates to political causes. It was rumoured that in military era Prince Engr Arthur Eze was responsible for appointments given to any Igbo man or woman.
But one fact marks Prince Engr Arthur Eze over and above many men of his generation, his penchant for giving. Prince Engr Arthur Eze is unmatched in philanthropy and generosity. Ozoigbondu has given far more than any business man. His nature is unlike the human nature selfishly passionated for acquisitions. Prince Engr Arthur Eze is love with giving. His hobby is helping others and solving the public needs.
In Dunukofia, his home Prince Engr Arthur Eze attracted the Dunukofia Local Government with headquarters at Ukpo. Bank of Agriculture and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Ukpo annex are also his contributions to his community development. Prince Engr Arthur Eze has also constructed roads all round Ukpo linking the entire community with terred roads. Oye Ukpo market, clinics, community centres, church projects, electrification, education are among the needs he has single handedly provided for his community.
Outside Ukpo and Dunukofia Prince Engr Arthur Eze has continued his philanthropic activities some of which are Donation of one billion naira for the construction of St. Stephen’s Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria in 2013.
Prince Engr Arthur Eze donated $800,000 for the constructing of two primary schools in Yirol and Rumbek communities in central South Sudan.
100 million for Emmanuel Anglican Church Umunnachi.
10 million naira donated to the elderly people of the Ukpo community.
100 million naira donation to Ukpo farmers.
The Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder (APLSCD), received the sum of N5 million for a standard sickle cell clinic at the Ukpo, Dunukofia Council Area of Anambra State.
He was part of those that contributed for the relief needs of the victims of Boko Haram insurgencies, of which he donated the sum of $800,000 at a fundraiser in Abuja.
Prince Engr Arthur Eze gave 25 million naira of the total funds raised for the ‘Russia 2018’ FIFA World Cup in 2018.Eze donated $6.3-million to the flood relief efforts in Nigeria in the year 2013.
A church in Abagana community benefited from his cheerful giving as he gave them the sum of 20 million naira for musical instruments and renovations in 2015.Arthur singlehandedly built a medical research unit for the Nnamdi Azikiwe University.He created road networks linking the Dunukofia clan with neighbouring towns like Abba, Awkuzu, Ifite-Dunu, and Abagana.Prince Engr Arthur Eze constructed the overhead bridge in Ebonyi State with his funds, without asking for government intervention. Yearly scholarship to Nigeria Prison College Abuja. 1 million dollars for Anambra State Government Security program. Highest donor to CAFE with over 200 million naira donation, a pet program of Anambra State Governor’s wife. The list is endless as Prince Engr Arthur Eze has spent greater part of his life in building individuals and communities.
To the glory of God as Prince Engr Arthur Eze celebrates 71st birthday today we join men of goodwill and the saints to celebrate this ICONIC IGBO LEADER, a Citizen of the World, an Apostle of Love, Angel of Kindness and Pillar of Progress, PRINCE ENGR ARTHUR IKPECHUKWU EZE, OZOIGBONDU may God continuously bless and preserve you for many more years ahead.
Happy Birthday Autonomous Government!!!
Ilokolobia Cornel Chukwugozie
Wrote from Isiekwulu