By James Ibechi
Philanthropist cum businessman, Chief Francis Alochu Ikpobu will later today be honoured with a most prestigious award in the media world in Makurdi, Benue state capital. Last night, the budding philanthropist was honoured by the apex umbrella body of all Igede students, NUIS all for his philanthropy. Following the activities of Chief Alochu as he is often called for short, one cannot but report his observation that he’s for now Igede’s most influential person, if not Benue. Now he’s working to inspire development of rural infrastructures, bring hope and succor to the poor especially widows, orphans, indigent students and the less privileged. But is it all inspired philanthropy or an elaborate form of political adventure as some mistakenly believe? Chief Alochu has no doubt demonstrated his sincere care for the downtrodden in the society, beyond merely giving back. Yet, what is all about this philanthropist who constitutes a new phenomenon in Benue State and Igede in particular? Answer to this question will unfurl naturally.
First, from the perspective of the media award he bags today and the ones he has already added to his feathers in the past, we are informed, were done him on account of his philanthropic activities that are impacting the world and Benue in particular in so great ways. Chief Alochu is among the world leading philanthropists who founded Alochu Foundation, a Benue-based charity organisation that is dedicated to the care of youths, widows, orphans and generally the less-privileged in the society. He has since founded the charity organization years back made philanthropy his full focus, giving to the poor and less privileged at every stop, turn and always, a campaign that is ostensibly not just a show of ‘covenant practice’ as rooted in the Bible, but more to encourage other wealthy people to commit to philanthropic causes, and help make the world a better place to live in. How is he able to fund his philanthropic activities? It would be known that even though most of Alochu’s giving to the poor is channeled through the foundation, the organization which is itself still fledgling and yet to get any donation from any donor individual or body, is funded from the proceeds of Chief Alochu’s personal legitimate businesses which are spread in Nigeria and abroad.
Chief Alochu is a successful businessman who has had his hand applied into several sectors of the economy including Oil and Gas, Property Development, Marketing Consultancy, Energy generation, transmission and distribution to Rural Communities.
He is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the famous, Odochu Global Investment Ltd , London, Greater London, United Kingdom, Odochu Global Properties Investment & Management Company located at Sand Lake, New York, United States of America, Emmyal Integrated Resources Ltd, Alofrank Oil and Gas Ltd, Frank and Favour Properties Ltd, which has its office at Suite 40/45 BEFL Plaza, Utako, Abuja, with its branch office located at Plot 115, East Legion Extension, Accra, Ghana and 108 Creek Wood, London, UK.
With such vast business empires and the fortunes accruing to him from the businesses, Chief Alochu has a chance to create impact on a truly global scale, and the majority of his giving has focused on empowering the youths to achieve their life dreams, providing scholarships to the indigent students among them, improving the health and well-being of the poorest people especially the widows and orphans.
Alochu’s Foundation’s tagline is: “Youths Empowerment”, yet his giving have evidently impacted all the needy. His giving philosophy is rooted in Gen. 12:2: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.” Alochu is one of the true offspring of Father Abraham and Jesus Christ commands that if we are Abraham’s true children we should do the work our father Abraham did. Abraham’s work is also giving to bless other people. Chief Alochu’s giving life is deeply rooted in this scripture, and borne out of heart of giving to help humanity.
Though Chief Alochu is not a politician neither does he intend to vie for any political office in the next General Elections in Nigeria, despite Aristotle’s saying that “every man is a political animal,” nevertheless, Alochu’s political ideology is liberalism – the political doctrine of freedom and openness for security, protection and development of both the poor and other people in the society. In this philosophy of his, Alochu has been instrumental to elections of some top political office holders in Igedeland and elsewhere, but has equally been disappointed by some of their performances.
Chief Alochu is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alochu Foundation. Its Corporate Office is located at Suite 12/13, Ona Ejugwu Shopping Centre, Plot 76, Ikachi Road, Ihiejwo Ukpa, Oju LGA Benue State. And the organization’s website is http://www.alochufoundation.org. It is a Non-governmental Organisation dedicated to charity works – giving to the poor and youth development; widows and the orphans.
In its history of service so far, the charity organisation has given scholarship to pupils and students of Ukpa origin in various schools in Oju LGA.
It has purchased musical instruments, Lister generating plant, and donated N300, 000.00 into building projects at Methodist Church (MCN) Nigeria, Obachita Ukpa, Oju LGA of Benue State. This is aside sponsoring the Church Choir album launch.
The foundation has sunk six boreholes. These six sources of water supply to the people are spread across Oju and Ukpa communities; it has also electrified Obachita, sponsored the maiden edition of the chieftaincy title and honorary award projects organised by Amono kingdom at Synergy Place, in 2009.
Alochu Floundation co-founded the NUIS senate wing of scholarship scheme; gave scholarship to 21 orphans and indigent pupils and students drawn from 11 council wards of Oju LGA in 2015/2016 academic session.
The foundation empowered a total of 67 invited abjectly poor widows with N25, 000.00 each, amounting to N1.7million and a set of 68 uninvited widows with N200, 000.00, as transport fares to enable them return home after empowerment event which took place early this year at COE, Oju.
In pursuit of its scholarship for poor or indigent students, Alochu Foundation registered 61 candidates for NECO and SSCE early this year with N793 000.00, and this very set of students just graduated recently with more than 90 per cent of them recording flying colours. The foundation has hosted Ukpa Community towards the construction of Ukpa Town Hall at Ihiejwo Ukpa; donated 2000 blocks to the community for the construction of same hall. It also donated fertilizer to Oyibe, Obachita Ukpa farmers this year – 2017; and co-sponsored the 2017 edition of kings Football Academy founded by one Ibu kingsley Akpoko; donated N100,000.00 to MCN, Ihiejwo for roofing of its MANCE.
Other donations by Alochu Foundation included 50 pairs of Jersey to Ukpa Community Secondary School, Ukpa Centre; 1000 blocks to Igede National Youth Council towards its secretariat complex and N285,000.00 for facial surgery of cancer patient, Michael Inyama Ogbaji in a Makurdi hospital, while also extending similar gesture of N200, 000.00 to one Gabriel Adode to facilitate his surgery.
And just yesterday at an event in Makurdi to honour the Alochu Foundation president by the National Union of Igede Students, NUIS, he announced a donation of N300, 000.00 towards the erection of the secretariat of the student body.
Born to the family of Pastor and Mrs. Ikpobu Alochu of Oyibe, Obachita, Upka, Oju LGA of Benue State on July 17, 1974, Chief Alochu Francis Ikpobu started out at all Saints Primary School, Umoda-Oju, but ended up completing his primary education at LGEA School Ukpa in 1988.
Chief Alochu went to famous GSS Ikachi, Oju LGA. He obtained a Diploma in Business Management from the International Academy of Management and another in Graphics and Web Design and Database Management from IPMC, Accra, Ghana.
Chief Alochu, as way of preparing self for stronger leadership task that humanity and of course the society is placing on him, is at present furthering his education at a private university of international repute in Accra Ghana, for degrees and masters.
As a result of hard work and love for humanity, his community of Ukpa conferred on him a high chieftaincy title called Odochu 1 of Ukpa in 2009. Since then, it has been a harvest of honours from all over the place including, Epitome of Love and Care awarded him in 2017 by Igede National Youth Council, as well as The News Impact Man of the Year 2017 by The NewsImpact Newspaper, at the instance of which this citation is being read.
Chief Alochu likes traveling, socializing with people of any economic status, visiting the less privileged and extending hands of fellowship to them.
He is happily married with children.