From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
There was excitement in Oraifite community, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, recently when a businessman, Mr. Ugochukwu Igboanugo, distributed various tools and equipment to the youths of the town to enable them venture into various skills.
The items included sewing machines, hair dryers, grinding machines, pressure pumps for car wash, welding machines, clippers and other barbing tools, among others.
Also, a total of 5,000 exercise books were equally provided for pupils in public primary schools in the community and they were handed over to the headmasters/headmistresses of the benefitting schools.
These items were handed over to their beneficiaries during the 40th birthday celebration of their benefactor, Igboanugo. The ceremony was held at his residence in the town.
Chairman of the planning committee, A.O. Ufondu, a lawyer, in his address, said that about 80 youths were selected from various villages in the community to benefit from the empowerment package. The programme was aimed at taking idle youths off the streets and getting them busy with productive ventures that could make positive impacts in their lives.
“It is the vision and mission of our brother that, with these empowerment opportunities to our youths, the era of idleness, crime and criminality, drug abuse, laziness and other social vices committed by our youths shall be checkmated.
“More importantly, those who benefit from these empowerment largess shall be supervised and monitored to ensure that the items provided are not abused,” Ufondu said.
He stated that the educational materials given to the pupils were appreciated, as the gesture was a display of their benefactor’s love for education, especially as it concerns the future of the pupils.
“This is a landmark in education empowerment and a legacy to sustain and maintain the passion, which his late father, Sir Joseph Igboanugo, stood for in his lifetime, having sponsored and trained many people in school and in the book industry at Aba,” he said.
Ufondu told guests at the event that the empowerment programme was not the first from their benefactor, as that he had done many things for the community in the past.
“We also make bold to inform the audience that our brother and sponsor of these empowerment projects distributed hundreds of thousands of bags of rice to this community and beyond last year in the heat of total lockdown ignited by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Between August and December 2020, our brother singlehandedly constructed and commissioned a half kilometre road with side culverts and gutter. This village and others in Oraifite and beyond are enjoying the said road,” he said.
The celebrant, Igboanugo, popularly known as Havi Don, while thanking God for keeping him alive, said he felt very happy and fulfilled turning 40 this year.
Igboanugo said: “I feel so happy and fulfilled turning 40. For you to be alive, for you to have experienced what happened last year, EndSARS, COVID-19 pandemic and others, you ought to be happy for being alive.”
Asked if what he was doing for the community and, perhaps, other communities in the area had any political undertones, he said that he was not a politician and would never intend to be one.
“I am not a politician and I don’t intend to be one. Many people have been asking me whether I want to venture into politics. But it is out of love that I have for my community that I decided to empower the kids and the youths,” he said.
Igboanugo’s associate, Harrison Nnorom, chairman of Ugoson Global Limited, commended Havi Don for his large heart towards his kinsmen, describing him as a philanthropist who cares deeply about other people.
“My prayer for him is that he will never have a better yesterday. And God will give him good health, strengthen his family and prosper the works of his hands,” Nnorom said.