BY Fr George Adimike

A tribute to great men and women is invariably a tribute to God, who never fails to raise people, who offer worthy worship by their self-gift for the common good. Such men and women glorify God with their lives by their active participation in making present and current the reign of God on earth.  Indeed, no matter the widespread nature of moral bankruptcy in the world, no society is deprived of light-bearers and embers of goodness.

Illustrious in virtue, these persons embody and market hope and spell nobility of character. Staying the course of integrity, they take excellence a notch higher both in substance and style, stirring extraordinary fascination and awakening an amazing inspiration. Such is the gift of the Akokwa-born Sir Tony Ndubisi Ifeanyichukwu Ezenna, KSS, OFR, the Founder and Chairman of the Orange Group.

An alpha-rated entrepreneur, Chief Ezenna is a growth-driven and innovation-focused businessman and industrialist enamoured with creating values and services for the transformation of human society. He invests a lot in the moral and entrepreneurial bank for the common good. It is difficult to quantify the values his companies offer the human family ― health, education, religion, employment, aesthetics, sundry services and impacts in emotional, social and security sectors.

His creative and strategic partnerships have contributed immensely to expanding the frontiers of excellence and entrepreneurship. Without equivocation, Sir Tony has demonstrated that the meaning of life is to live it as a gift that honours God and blesses others. This tribute acknowledges the impact of grace, grit and gratitude. In his virtue-rich Christian and entrepreneurial life, Ijele Akokwa writes a super and stunning narrative of his life as a disciplined and compassionate father, visionary leader, exemplary mentor, refined gentleman, great entrepreneur, conscientious nation-builder, generous man of integrity and caring friend.

Chief Ezenna invests in constructing a just and free society. Fully aware of the God factor and personal effort in every success, he harnesses positive energies and channels them towards building a great future for our children and children’s children. With total trust in God, whose grace exceeds our limitations, Sir Tee translates divine providence as developing and deploying God’s gifts for significant effects. He combines the pursuit of audacious goals with legendary discipline in financial management, moral probity, selfless service to the community and Christian generosity in a seamless, simple and unassuming manner.

In serving God, caring for self, and blessing humanity, Ijele Akokwa, has become synonymous with charity, integrity, entrepreneurship, and empowerment. Being an ardent believer in the goodness of business because of its instrumental value in the worship of God and service to humanity, Sir Tee has developed different sectors of the economy, aiming at creating labour for the teeming population of the youth so that, by working, they earn a decent wage to fund a decent life. In consequence, these citizens become agents of goodness. Through his business, he reduces the chances of crimes, grows the nation’s wealth and uses the fruits of his efforts for charity and propagation of the Gospel and good values.

Sir Tee, a worthy Papal Knight of St Sylvester and a recipient of the National Honours of the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR), is an ardent believer that gifts, energies and resources meant for the earth are not to be conserved or abandoned for heaven. Instead, he deploys all the resources in his arsenal to develop himself and others for the common good and glory of God. His profound relationship with God endows and imbues him with an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and trust that all will come out well if we work conscientiously.

He operates from the ground that wisdom and wealth have no value unless they serve as elements that promote God’s universal government of creation. Thus they can be either value or vanity. All is vanity when they serve vainglory, but the same realities possess value when they serve God’s glory. According to Irenaeus, a living man is the glory of God. No wonder Christ came for the abundant life of God’s children (cf. John 10:10). This life in abundance, of which salvation is a shorthand, is temporal and everlasting, heavenly and materially. Therefore, entrepreneurship is a gift of grace for the advancement of creation. All those who participate in achieving this fulfil a significant task for God, and the attendant satisfaction wells up to the eternal delight of beholding God no longer in sacramental elements but as He is.

Sir Tony Ezenna is a star player in expanding the coast of God’s glory, by deploying his gifts for common good, nation-building, evangelisation, charity and empowerment of the masses. He focuses on how to leave God’s world in the proper order as a foretaste of the heavenly abode because he believes that God’s children should live in dignity. His turn-offs are all manner of deceit either in the political economy or socio-religious life of the nation. Abuse of the public trust and abuse of religion keep him worried, and he seeks ways to contribute to the redress.

Married to Adaeze Elizabeth, Sir Tee is ever grateful to God for the precious treasure he has in his wife, who has been an excellent partner in progress. Her contribution to sustaining Chief Ezenna’s greatness cannot be overemphasised. God blessed their marriage with five lovely children. A man of integrity, he grew to become a super entrepreneur, specialising in job creation. With the cooperation of his wife, Ijele Akokwa has succeeded in building a model family of the Ezennas. This piece comes as an acknowledgement, a goodwill message and a prayer as I join thousands of family, friends and well-wishers to pray for many happier, healthier, and fruitful years ahead.

Fr George Adimike

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