For those who are truly close to him, it is a known fact that former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu, is not only a businessman- cum politician but a philanthropist of repute.
The laudable humanitarian gestures of the seasoned public and business administrator is managed by Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation with focus areas being health, education, youth and women empowerment and democratic governance.
Having followed the activities of the not-for-profit organization and personal accomplishments of Kalu, it is worthy to note that the former governor has in no small measure sustained his invaluable contributions to nation building and humanity.
Last week, while waiting patiently at the Departure Lounge of the Nnamdi Azikwe airport, Abuja, for my flight to Lagos on the newly inaugurated Ibom Airline, I overheard two young university graduates discussing the award of scholarships by Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation to deserving 50 students to be selected across the country to study medicine in Venezuela.
I was amazed when one of the parties recalled how as a secondary school student in Aba, he had benefited from the free education policy of Kalu during his stint as governor of Abia State. At that point, I picked interest in their discussion and I asked politely if I could join them in their discussion, an obligation the two friends gladly obliged me.
As we discussed Kalu’s personality, one of the graduates said, “This man Kalu empowers people o. Even if you look at the dailies today, there is an advert by Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation to sponsor additional 650 Nigerians to study Medicine in 13 universities across Nigeria.”
Thereafter, I now asked myself why don’t Nigerians celebrate positive news but only negative? Kalu’s gesture deserves robust accolades. The humanitarian initiatives of Kalu are impressive not only because his foundation is awarding scholarships to medical students but the choice of course as there is a huge technical gap in the medical profession in Nigeria. You can imagine the positive resultant effects of 700 graduates in the medical profession in a few years.
Kalu has not only taken a step in the right direction but has re-affirmed the need to match philanthropic gestures with needed skills in the society. Although not a medical practitioner, the former governor has also demonstrated his selfless and patriotic efforts in ameliorating the suffering of people as a result of inadequate medical personnel in the country.
There are many professions in Nigeria begging for improved capacity. Hence, well-meaning Nigerians can take a cue from Kalu’s initiatives aimed at improving the common lot of the people by implementing humanitarian gestures in all facets of life.
Comrade Sunny Larry writes from Jos, Plateau State.