The sun? When I was a little child, slightly higher than my mum’s knees, my aunt (of blessed memory) described the sun to me as a ball of fire because it keeps us warm and gives us heat. To her, it gives us light, warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing plants that provide food and oxygen for life on earth. Without the sun’s heat and light, the earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rocks. Hence, the importance of the sun can never be overemphasized. Without mincing words, if the sun were to be a person, it would be Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, a Nigerian philanthropist and entrepreneur who was born 44 years back, 18 years after his motherland (Nigeria) was liberated from the shackles of British colonialism. Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii hails from Isu-Achara in Onicha LGA, Ebonyi State. He had his primary and post-primary adventures at Isu Achara Primary School and Isu Secondary School respectively. Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is married to Deborah Ebele Odii whose union has been graciously blessed with God-fearing, smart and dogged children— dogged, just as he. Remarkably, he is not equated with the sun because the world cannot technically exist without him, but equated with the sun because the world is a better place to live in and dream big with him on it, and would be a lot better with him at the helm of affairs of his people. His dedication, perseverance, generosity, commitment, achievements, passion and intelligence makes him as important as the sun in any given polity, with Nigeria far from being an exception.
In context, adjectives like generous, thoughtful, resourceful, considerate, diligent, productive, sincere, helpful, caring and cheerful describe Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii’s personality. For a start, deeds to buttress his generosity and thoughtfulness abound. Through his foundation, “Ebele and Anyichucks”, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii has over the years built over 100 homes for indigent people in rural areas; built churches, primary and secondary schools; provided yearly medical screening and support; provided scholarships to over 1000 students (home and abroad); provided succor to widows; and also embarked on ample youth empowerment schemes. Still on his generosity, during the COVID-19 lockdown which destroyed families’ means of livelihood and inflicted hunger on the peoples across the globe, he donated the sum of one hundred and fifty million naira for intervention in the plights of many Nigerian families. Completely immersed in sports, he established the Anyichucks Unity Cup, a yearly football tournament held in Isu- Achara , his hometown, to encourage youths and promote sports at the grassroots level. In appreciation of his generosity and kindness towards humanity, numerous awards have been conferred on Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii. On 9th of April, 2021, just months after he was conferred an award as World Peace Evangelist by the United Nations, the Faculty of Management Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa, conferred on him an award of honor in recognition of his enormous contributions to the development of education and service to humanity. Few weeks later, he was appointed as an Ambassador of Peace by the Leadership of International Parliament for Safety, Peace and Justice in collaboration with Global Forum for Peace, Justice and Human Rights United Nations. Supplementarily, he was awarded by the Daily Independent Newspaper as the philanthropist of the year 2021. Besides being generous, kind, and thoughtful, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is also resourceful and productive. It is no news or scarcely arguable that Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii has achieved a lot. Without a doubt, these achievements and recognitions were possible because of his resourcefulness and high productivity level. Also, unlike most successful men, Dr Ifeanyi C. Odii is a tradition-phile. His invaluable love for culture and tradition, spiced with his benevolence trait, earned him a prestigious chieftaincy title— Odozi Obodo 1 of Ekepelu Unwueka Autonomous Community in Ikwo Noyo Ancient Kingdom, Ebonyi State— early this year.
Furthermore, after attaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (BSc) and subsequently conferred the Doctor of Science degree (Sc. D.) in Strategic Business Management and Corporate Governance from, and by, the National Open University and European American University in the Republic of Panama respectively, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii has positively advanced to become a top and admirable achiever, battling against considerable odds:
- First, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is the Founder/Chairman of Orient Global Group, a trading company which deals in raw materials and chemical products for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. Orient Global Group has subsidiary companies— Orient Global Manufacturing, Orient Haulage & Logistics, and Purity Agro-Allied Ltd.
- Second, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is the President/C.E.O. of Ultimus Holdings, a pan-African investment company with the sole purpose of contributing to the sustainable development of African countries. Just like Orient Global Group, Ultimus Holdings has subsidiary companies— Ultimus Properties, Ultimus Construction, and Ultimus Global Integrated. With investment portfolios cutting across sectors like real estate, healthcare, trade, service, manufacturing, logistics, and construction, Dr Ifeanyi C. Odii, as confirmed by statistics, has successfully grown these businesses outside the shores of Nigeria to sub-saharan African countries like Cameroon etc.
- Also, alongside reputable men like Anuoluwa Eso, Tolani Sule, Karl Toriola, Hakeem Adetugbobo, Adebayo Akinsanya, Adekunle Soname, Amuwo Shaffudeen etc., Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii, as appointed by the Lagos State Governor (His Excellency Babajide Sanwo Olu), is a member of the 12th Governing Council of the Lagos State University, with former Lagos State Accountant General (David Sunmoni) as the Chairman.
- Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is also a co-founder of the Ebele and Anyichucks Foundation, a non-governmental organization committed to spreading love and providing realistic opportunities for the masses. Additionally, Dr Ifeanyi C. Odii sits on the board of Prosperi’s Holdings, and is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School. Other than holding relevant positions in top companies and co-founding charity-oriented organizations, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is also a recipient of the 2021 Business Day Nigeria Investors Value Award (NIVA), an award won in association with Ultimus Holdings. As a seasoned entrepreneur with investments cutting across Africa, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is highly skilled in leadership, management, business strategy, project management, entrepreneurship, and negotiation. These skills have been endorsed by reliable and trustworthy individuals.
Fundamentally, these past weeks marked a turning point in Ebonyi State political history when Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii was urged by the youths under the aegis of Nigeria Youth Organization (N.Y.O.) to declare interest to run for the office of the Governor of Ebonyi State in the 2023 Governorship Elections. This positive urge by the youths clearly indicates that he is the people’s choice. In Kelechi Igwe’s (Chairman of N.Y.O ) words, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is the beacon of hope for Ebonyi State’s future; a man of his people. Aside from being the people’s choice, there are other ample reasons why Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii should contest for the governorship position of Ebonyi State in 2023. To begin with, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii, as earlier indicated, is a successful, productive and resourceful businessman who is adequately abreast with the intricacies of trade, business management, and economy upswing. This profound knowledge makes him capable of handling the State’s resources judiciously. Another reason is, having built schools (both primary and secondary) and provided education scholarships to over 1000 students (home and abroad), it is evident and inferable that Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii understands the importance of education in a political structure. Thus, him being in power suggests, among other things, that the educational sector will not in any way be neglected or marginalized. Most importantly, as intoned by a learned writer, governance is not about making pretense to integrity, age, promises, or some shadowy fights against graft; but about competence, sensitivity, and responsiveness to the plights of the governed. Candidly, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii’s profile and personality satisfies the above requirements. Therefore, it is strongly believed that Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii has what it takes to make Ebonyi State a better place for all and sundry.
In the light of the above facts, it is evident that any person who wishes to write about Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is aware of two important facts, or becomes aware of two important facts in the course of his research. First, he is a highly skilled entrepreneur who has not only accomplished a lot, but has also given unconditional service to humanity— an inimitable philanthropist, a human angel. Second, he is, by all counts, and with proven results, a suitable candidate for the Ebonyi State governorship position. Other than a public figure and a fighter for his causes, Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is a true friend, brother, father, son, and a muse to the public. He has, for ages, remained a source of inspiration to one and all. Personally, having actively participated in this exercise, the writer has not only learnt a lot, but has also been inspired to go and conquer the world. Dr. Ifeanyi C. Odii is indeed a paragon of excellence and a source of inspiration.