In furtherance of the objectives for its establishment last year, the Augustine Ali Ezeali Charity Foundation (AAECF), founded by the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Chief Oluchukwu Ukie Ezeali, in memory of his late father, has offered scholarship to three indigent students from Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The beneficiaries include Nnali Christian Nnamdi (100 level student, Education and Economics, University of Port Harcourt), Udume Mercy Uzoma and Azubuike Anthonia Chinenyenwa, who were selected from a number of participants, after a screening exercise coordinated by a committee in St Anthonia Catholic Parish, Mgbom, Afikpo.
While Chinenyenwa and Uzoma are yet to be offered provisional admission by the tertiary institutions they applied to, the sum of N189, 000 was paid by the Foundation to cover Nnamdi’s feeding allowance, registration, accommodation, tuition and other fees charged by the University of Port Harcourt for new students.
Speaking with our reporter, the Founder of AAECF and the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Chief Oluchukwu Ukie Ezeali, said that the objective for the scholarship to students of Afikpo North extraction is in order to produce numerous graduates and undergraduates, who will contribute their quota to the growth and development of Afikpo North in particular and Nigeria in general.
He said: “The Augustine Ali Ezeali Charity Foundation (AAECF) was founded last year, but was formally launched in February 28, this year, in memory of my beloved father, Onikara Chief Augustine Ali Ezeali, who passed on in 2016. Since its inception, the foundation has empowered many downtrodden, vulnerable and less privileged people in diverse areas of human need. Recently, the foundation kicked off its scholarship scheme with three best indigent students, who were selected among many participants, after a transparent screening exercise.
“We have paid the tuition and other fees for one of the beneficiaries, Nnali Christian Nnamdi, a 100 level student, Education and Economics, University of Port Harcourt, while waiting for others to secure admission; in order for us to also offset their fees. Nevertheless, I implore the beneficiaries to take their studies seriously and not get themselves in any extra-curricular activity that may hamper their academic journey. With this movement, it is expected that in few years to come, the foundation might have produced numerous graduates and undergraduates who will in turn make meaningful impact in the growth and development of our society.
“The scholarship scheme and other interventions by the Foundation have will prove that late Onikara Augustine Ali Ezeali, through his children, has left an indelible footprint and visible legacies that will stand the test of time.”
Earlier interventions by AAECF
Recall that, during the official launch of the Foundation on February 28, which coincided with the posthumous birthday of his late father, Ezeali used the opportunity to provide hope to a disabled student of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Miss Precious Nnenna Elekwa, by procuring a brand-new wheelchair to ease her movement and attendance to lectures from her off campus residence in Unwana.
In the same vein, the commissioner provided N50, 000 for a blind indigene of Afikpo North LGA, Mr Ali Nelson Uchenna, to establish a business of his own and become financially independent for life.
Similarly, Ezeali distributed N5, 000 each to more than 20 orphans and other downtrodden children in Afikpo; in order to cushion their school fees from primary to secondary schools and other needs as they may request for.
Additionally, Ezeali empowered a young lady, Grace Aduragbemi Bakare, with N50, 000 for her to start off a small scale business; upon discovering that she was hardworking and desirous of settling down with her lover, despite facing economic challenges, saying that the establishment of the charity foundation is in fulfilment of the promise he made during the burial of his late father on sustaining his legacies while on earth.
He said: “In a tribute to my late father, Onikara Chief Augustine Ali Ezeali, on Saturday, October 8, 2016, I said ‘I am establishing a Foundation that will immortalize your name and continue to reflect your priceless virtues and soft spot for the poor, especially the Society of St. Vincent the Paul. The Foundation as founded shall be called Augustine Ali Ezeali Charity Foundation (AAECF)’. I have just fulfilled that by officially launching the foundation on the posthumous birthday of my late father today.
“In launching the foundation, we lived up to its bidding by carrying out charity works, including donating a new wheelchair to a disabled student, who got mysteriously crippled over ten years ago and was in dire need of the wheelchair. Also we provided money for a talented, but blind man to establish a business of his own, while hoping that other public spirited individuals can support him the more.
“As for Grace Aduragbemi Bakare, who is a Yoruba lady, people should know that I am not biased. I know her and a young man she was in a relationship with, though not financially buoyant. During their visit to me in December, I promised to give her N50,000 to help her set up any local trading business to support herself, as she was hoping to marry and start up a family. I fulfilled the promise today, Tuesday, March 2.
“My father was a selfless man, who made sure that he put smiles on the faces of people in numerous ways and I promised him that I will do my best to follow in his footsteps. The launch of the foundation wouldn’t be complete without our reaching out to as many people as possible, hence our reaching out to orphans and other less privileged Afikpo residents with N5,000 each.”
Also, showing her appreciation in an interview, the beneficiary of the wheelchair, Precious Nnenna Elekwa, who hails from Ibii in Ibii/Ozizza Autonomous Community of Afikpo North LGA, thanked Chief P.Noble profusely for coming to her aid at a time she needed it most, even as she equally prayed God to bless the Commissioner and his entire family for the goodness done to her.
She said: “I have been in this condition for over ten years now, but God knows best. I am just full of joy and gratitude to God for remembering me through Chief P. Noble. Due to my condition, I was having challenges attending lectures since the damage of my last wheelchair. I need not recount what I went through without a wheelchair to attend classes, especially the inconveniences I posed to students and relatives, whom I depended on to help my movement from my off campus lodge to lecture halls.
“May God bless Chief P. Noble and his entire family for remembering poor people like me. For this singular act of buying a new wheelchair to help my movement and education, his pockets will never run dry. God will continue granting his prayers and blessing his businesses and political career.”
Similarly, Ali Nelson Uchenna, who said he has been blind for 11 years, due to glaucoma and whose condition, according to him, had defied all the medical solutions he had sought, thanked Chief P. Noble for providing financial assistance for him to establish a business of his own.
“I don’t know how best to thank Chief P. Noble for giving me hope of economic survival and financial independence, but God knows that I am grateful. You may not know the neglect, disappointment and failed promises I have suffered in the hands of many people until this intervention by the Honourable Commissioner. I pray for God to continually provide Chief P. Noble the enablement to keep extending his legendary hands of kindness to humanity. I promise to invest the money judiciously,” he said.