Some say he's arrogant to others he's humble, he may be hated by some yet still to many he's loved, to me and many others he's unique, a great man no doubt great in his own way. But what actually makes a person great?
Great men are certainly not those who are rich with flashy cars and money, nor are they those who are poor with tarthard cloths and worn-out shoes, great men can be rich or poor but what makes them great is their ability to make positive difference in any society they found themselves, this diference should be lasting and stamped by their footprints so that when they are no more, the sands of times will still bear their marks.
Fortunatly today Nigeria in general and Abia State in particular has such a man, a man who has been making a lot of difference, his works are still intact and will remain so even if he is dead. Who is this man?
His name is Orji Uzor Kalu former governor of Abia State.
Orji Uzor Kalu's history
Orji Uzor Kalu hails from Igbere a small village in Bende Local Government area of Abia State Southeast Nigeria, as a child, Dr. Kalu was close to his family especially his mother, he first went to Christ the King School Aba. This mixture of educational systems and the strong family backgrounds exposed him to many facts of life. Later, he left his home to attend Government College, Umuahia. Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has a degree from Abia State University, a Certificate in Business Administration from Harvard University and honorary doctorates from the University of Maiduguri and Abia State University.
He is social as he can be found on facebook via his facebook page "Orji Uzor Kalu", he also has a website.
From Grass To Grace Orji's remarkable achievementsThe story of Dr. Kalu's business and political success is a remarkable demonstration of his entrepreneurial prowess and generosity. He started from a humble background, from a palm oil seller, with a little over 4000 Nigerian Naira borrowed from his mother he started trading palm oil, he gradually worked his way up the ladder through sheer hardwork and determination, it paid off and he later became the founder of one of Africa's fastest growing conglomerate SLOK holding.
His political success also started the same way, Dr. Orji Uzor saw what he perceived as corruption during his university days, which made him take action and he became a university student activist, he continued to protest the rife corruption in the educational system until he left school.
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu became the 7th Governor of Abia State on May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007, spanning a period of 8 years during that time Dr. Kalu achieved many things, notable among them is the "free education" scheme which he introduced, prior to that many people especially the low income earners found it extremely difficult to send their wards to school because they can't afford it, thus they sent them to hawk instead. As a result many children of school age both the primary and their secondary school counterparts started filling up the streets with their wares, the scene was always the same then, children begging passers-by to "buy this buy that" while their counterparts whose family belongs to the high and middle income earners attends schools Private and Government owned schools respectively.
Dr. Orji knew the importance of education, having seen first hand the disparity that existed between the children of the poor, the not-so rich and the rich, decided to put every one on the same pedestal and thus the free education scheme was born. The free education scheme which starts from the primary school level all the way to the secondary school level, introduced by the former Governor of my state Abia, opened lots of doors to many school children including some of my friends. Without it there'd be many school drop outs today in Abia, as an Abian and an Igbo I know how such things are seen, it's seen as a shame when one's ward did not finish at least secondary school. Imagine what the parents of a child who is a primary or secondary school drop out will feel, the pain of seeing your friends go to school while you are not. Such ones may be frustrated and may eventually end their lives, yes it's a bit extreme but it's true they may commit sucide if they are not mentally strong.
This is what Dr. Orji averted, he brought joy to many families, he directly or indirectly made others graduates. Dr. Orji using his own resources built a university in his home town Igbere where one can come and be sure to escape ASUU strikes and other strikes that's incidental to the education system in the country, graduate as at when due, get your certificate if you've truly earned it by accademic excellence.