On the 26th of August, 1961, Chief Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru (KSM) was born into the family of Chief Michael and Mrs. Christiana Okwuru in the pastoral community of Amudo in what was then the Ezzikwo Division (now known as the Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State).
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His parents were Chief Michael and Mrs. Christiana Okwuru. Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru was born into a lowly background, thus there were no comets visible in the sky to announce his arrival. His primary education was received at St. Paul’s primary, which is now known as Community Central School in Amudo. He then went on to receive his secondary education at Boys’ Secondary School in Ezzamgbo. In later years, he attended Imo State University in Owerri to earn a degree in Government and Public Administration with a second-class honors classification.
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Thomas Hardy asserted that “time changes everything,” and the life of the Honorable Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru (a.k.a. Ali-Ezza) is a perfect example of how this proposition can be put into practice. Within the span of his 59 years of life, Okwuru transformed himself from a meek, pastoral boy from Amudo, whose soccer talent earned him the nickname “Chairman Crackers” in Boys’ Secondary School, Ezzamgbo, into a human and political phenomenon, as well as a reference point in charity, humility, and the positive management of public trust.
Okwuru became all of these things. He was also a reference point in charity, humility, and the positive management The story of the devoted servant from the parable of the talents, which is found in the Holy Bible, is repeatedly illustrated in Okwuru’s life and serves as a reminder of its lessons.
His demonstration of good faith and commitment to the pursuit of the common good while serving as the secretary of Amudo Town Union between the years 1987 and 1990 set him on a trajectory of political career that culminated in a rich experience that has traversed the gamut of the three tiers as well as the two arms of government in Nigeria: the Presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. He served as the Ward Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the Amudo/Okoffia ward from 1991 to 1993, as a Councillor in the Amudo/Okoffia ward between 1996 and 1997, as the Supervisor for Works in the Ezza South Local Government Area in 1997, as the State Administrative Secretary for the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) in the Ebonyi State in 1998, as the Pioneer State Auditor for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
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During the eight years that Okwuru served as a member of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, he introduced a number of motions, sponsored a number of laws, and brought a large number of developmental projects to the people of his district. In 2001, he chaired the House Committee on the Creation of Local Governments, and as a result, he played a significant role in the establishment of the first-generation Development Centres in Ebonyi State, Ezza South, and for Ezza people living in the Diaspora of Inyaba, in particular Ukaba and Effium.
The movement to guarantee that the Federal Government reimbursed numerous State Governments the varied amounts of funds they invested in the rehabilitation/reconstruction of federal roads within their respective states was one of the most prominent motions that Okwuru sponsored in the Green Chambers of the Nigerian parliament. Another prominent motion that Okwuru sponsored was the motion to ensure that the Federal Ministry of Works urgently reconstructed the collapsing bridge at kilometer 8, Enugu – Abakaliki expressway, near Igwe The fact that Ebonyi State and the people of Ebonyi have continued to profit enormously from those motions up until the present time is instructive.
During the brief time that Okwuru served as Acting Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment, he was successful in luring the Iyiudele–Azuiyiokwu flood control project to the state of Ebonyi. The policies of the Federal Government have been influenced by his remarks regarding the national development, particularly the review of Nigeria’s commitment to the immigration policy of ECOWAS.
The qualities of humility and patience that stood out the most about Okwuru were the ones that endear him to people. He was extremely quick to extend forgiveness to people who had wronged him. Okwuru was affectionately known as Ali-Ezza, and throughout his life, he had consistently displayed an amazing aptitude to respond to provocations in a very mature manner. He never denied that he could make mistakes and was quick to apologize when he did. Okwuru embodied all that it means to be both human and humane. Okwuru had a fruitful career as a forgiving agent; he even let clients off the hook for their transgressions in advance. Because of all of these things and more, the more experienced politicians of Ebonyi referred to him as the Waziri of Ebonyi politics. This was an obvious attempt to draw parallels between Okwuru and Ibrahim Waziri, who is known as the apostle of ‘politics without bitterness.’
Okwuru, who was known for his compassion as a leader, always made time to share in the joys and sorrows of his large following of followers. All of these factors converged to produce Okwuru’s highly contagious charisma, which served as his primary point of differentiation in the marketplace. His persistent investment of resources and energy in both the vineyard of the Lord and in the empowerment of individuals was another significant contributor to the great amount of goodwill that he still enjoys even after his passing away.
Through the Ali-Ezza foundation that he established, he was able to provide financial support for a number of charitable organizations, including churches, as well as scholarships, free medical assistance, free transportation schemes, and the facilitation of gainful employment, economic empowerment, and other similar endeavors for those in need, regardless of their tribe, religion, or political affiliation. In the years 2012 and 2013, Okwuru completed rural electrification projects in the communities of Amana, Nsokkara, Amegu, Amezekwe, Umunwagu, Amudo, and Okoffia in Ezza South Local Government Area (LGA). This was in addition to sinking a total of 30 water boreholes, 16 of which were located in Ikwo LGA and the remaining 14 in Ezza South LGA.
During the historic 2013 iteration of Okwuru’s “Festival of Thanks,” he donated the following items: 38 units of 300KVA transformers; 55 tricycles known as KEKE ALI-EZZA; 25 units of 5KVA power-generating sets that were given to traditional rulers in Ikwo, Ezza South, Ezza North, Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara, and Ezza traditional rulers in the Diaspora; 250 units of motorcycle In 2014, he followed this up with the distribution of nine more units of 300KVA transformers to communities that are located outside of his constituency.
These communities include Umuhuali, Ogboji Ezzaegu, and Azuinyaba, all of which are located in Ishielu Local Government Area; Ibenda-Effium, located in Ohaukwu Local Government Area; Ukaba, located in Onicha Local Government Area; Unwuezeokohu, Ori In point of fact, it is documented that Okwuru has been successful in luring a total of 46 units of 300KVA transformers as well as other types of investments to the state of Ebonyi. An online poll was run in March 2014 by the Ebonyi State Ministry of Information and State Orientation in conjunction with Green Blaze Magazine. The results of the poll showed that Ebonyians voted Okwuru as the Best Federal Legislator in the history of Ebonyi State.
This was due to a number of factors, including those listed above. Okwuru, a man who has been appropriately referred to as a Giver-Without-Boundary, has developed into a crowd-puller not just in his native state of Ebonyi but even outside its borders. This member of the illustrious Knights of Saint Mulumba order possesses a number of chieftaincy titles and awards in the states of Ebonyi, Asaga Arochukwu in Abia State, the Ebura-Echara kingdom in Obubra, Cross River, and Jato-Arka in Benue State. He is also a member of the Jato-Arka in Benue State. In the 7th House of Representatives, Okwuru was a member of the National Unity Group (NUG), where he introduced what became widely known as “black and white” politics. His colleagues praised the innovative approach to politics that he took, and they thanked him for it. All of these things have made the simple lad from Amudo into the pride of the Ebonyi people and a charismatic leader who is celebrated beyond geographical, political, religious, and tribal barriers, regardless of whether he is in power or not.
Okwuru was a devoted and caring husband to his wife. Okwuru was a loving father and a loyal family head to all of his children, including his own children, the children he had through foster care, and his siblings and sisters. Okwuru was known as a sympathetic and humane boss among the retinue of aides and servants that worked for him. Okwuru served as an inspiration to the growing number of people who looked up to him and called themselves his followers.