Apostle Ogu @ 60: 60 Garlands to God’s Axe for Justice, An outstanding Philanthropist
by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
When Apostle Eugene Egwuatu Ogu hinted me about his 60th birthday celebration that comes up on 22nd July, 2022, I was at a loss on how to introduce this man of different parts to the world. Writing on this man depends on one’s ability to comprehend the story of the blind men with the legendary elephant where each interpreted the elephant depending on the angle of their touch of the elephant. Even as one of my areas of specialization in the art of writing is writing on people but writing on this man of different parts was a huge task. I was at some point indecisive as to where to commence this treatise and I gestured and muttered to myself- “Do I start from his angle of philosophy or do I start with his missionary works to evangelize mankind and turn the worst mankind to Saints. What about his political activities?” Then I said to myself ‘I will only make an attempt, knowing that an attempt to holistically do justice in x-raying the man -Apostle Ogu who rose out of nothing to the great man he is today, will mean writing a book.’
Apostle Ogu demonstrates God in action. A man who couldn’t finish his primary school owing to challenges but later rose to be an Author of many quality books with many Professors studying under him personifies nothing but God’s grace.
His story reminds me of Peter the Apostle who was a mere fisherman but rose to be the Leader of Christ’s Church on earth.
In brief, Eugene Egwuatu Ogu, an apostle, by the will of God, a charismatic and visionary leader, provocative thinker, philanthropist, and quintessential preacher, is the founder and Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Evangel Mission, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
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I will urge you the reader to find time to go through this treatise and confirm the true nature of this man who has severally been described as a personification of godliness and an embodiment Grace.
The Birth and Early Life of Apostle Eugene Egwuatu Ogu
Born on the 22nd day of July, 1962 in the city of Limbe Camerooun to an indigent Nigerian family, his parents Mr. & Mrs. Boniface Ogu (late) of Ndiuhu Amuzi, Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State, had hoped to bequeath the ten children of which Eugene was the fourth child with quality education. Unfortunately, at very early age in life, young Eugene lost his mother who was the bread winner of the family and had to drop out of school at Primary 4, his highest level of education till date.
Nothing, therefore, prepared him for the new twist of life, at age 12, due to the inability of his father to fend for him and other children, he was given out as a houseboy to Mr. Edward Ikwenilo of No 13, Mbende Street, Limbe, Cameroon where he hawked palm oil amongst other house chores for 5years.
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On one fateful day while hawking palm oil on the streets of Limbe, young Eugene missed his steps shattering his wooden crate containing over a dozen bottles of red palm oil with the broken bottles piercing through his body leaving him seriously injured. With such fearsome memory of his madam, Eugene wept profusely owing to the damaged wares and sat by the hills refusing to go home. At the intervention of a passerby who happened to be a Nigerian, he was taken back to his madam with an impression that he was pushed down. This, nonetheless, didnt save him from been beaten by his madam.
With providence at play, the Nigerian stranger who had extracted some information from him managed to locate his elder brother, Dee Paulinus of blessed memory and narrated the very unfortunate state of Eugene in Cameroon. His elder brother then proceeded to Cameroon and brought him back to Nigeria where he commenced a second missionary journey through the vicissitude of life.
Apostle Ogu, How Men Despised Him and How God Rescued And Uplifted Him
Called by God (concrete evidences abound!) and consecrated for the Master’s use, this humble servant of God embarked upon the tortuous and turbulent journey of soul winning and shepherding the flock without looking back. Prior to this historic calling, nothing prepared him for the task ahead, as his academic, social, and economic background had no form, comeliness, nor beauty that we should desire him. Consequently, he was despised and rejected of men. But trust God and His infallible Word! Whoever He calls, He justifies, equips, and glorifies. Romans 8:30. Today, God has indeed, glorified Apostle Eugene Ogu. In variance with the thinking of men, God used the foolish things to confound the wise. By the power of God Almighty, he moved from obscurity to limelight, from zero-catch disciple to boat-sinking catch apostle of Jesus Christ.
Details of His Encounter with Christ
On his return to Nigeria, Eugene Ogu was given to Mr. Joseph Nwaobi of Bethel Industries to serve as a carpentry apprentice at No 114 Wetheral road, Owerri, Imo State. In his lowly esteemed state, Eugene slept on the carpentry table for 4years and 7months where his Christian journey was marked by two distinct visits. His first remarkable and life changing visit was from Sister Edith Onuoha who through the gift of Banana, Oranges and Paw-Paw exposed him to the inherent love in Christianity which prompted him to accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour in December, 1979. On the 27th day of September, 1983 with His head and hair like white wool, as white as snow and his eyes as a flame of fire appeared the Lord to Eugene on his carpentry table while fast asleep. In the empty room, the voice reverberated Eugene:-
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“I shall transform you and use you mightily to my glory”, this marked the beginning of a life transforming ministry.
As an early convert buoyed by the gift of the Holy Spirit, Eugene Ogu joined the Deeper Life Fellowship. His commitment and dedication exposed him to Pastor W. F. Kumuyi who taught him the virtue of humility. He then proceeded to the Redeemers Bible College, Lagos in 1984 under late Papa Awubajo as principal while Pastor Enoch Adeboye was a lecturer of the Bible College from where he graduated in 1986.
In furtherance of his passion for the kingdom since Deeper Life Fellowship was just like an interdenominational meeting at the time, Eugene joined the Christian Pentecostal Mission Owerri, recognizing his zeal for soul winning, resourcefulness and leadership qualities, after an interview, Papa Dr. O. Ezekiel, posted him to CPM Port Harcourt located at No 11 Egede lane to serve under Rev. Francis Worgu. Pastor Eugene Ogu went on to pastor several other branches of CPM.
The Mandate, Abundant Life Evangel Mission
The mandate-ALEM was birthed by Apostle Eugene Ogu under the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit with an instructive vision of Except We Care, the People Perish”. In pursuit of this new mandate, in 1988 with the approval and fatherly blessings of Papa Dr. O Ezekiel, the commission, Abundant Life Evangel Mission was founded. With prayers from Rev. Francis Worgu and other leaders of CPM Port Harcourt, Pastor Ogu was sent forth to conquer the city of Port Harcourt. In its modest state, ALEM started with a couple of members in the living room of Dr. & Dr. (Mrs.) Felix Okafor at Air-force Base, Port Harcourt and later moved to no 112 Aba road, Port Harcourt (former CAC Ph) donated by Elder Friday Okorie of Assemblies of God Mission, Silver Valley, Port Harcourt.
With visible manifestation of the mandate through salvation, healings, restoration, prosperity and the prophetic, ALEM grew in numbers and substance, prompting the purchase of a piece of swampy and water logged forested land at No 98 Omoi/Orosi. In defiance of the doubt by members, Pastor Ogu commenced the building of a worship auditorium and on the 8th day of December, 1991, ALEM held her first service at the auditorium.
As a result of the surge in membership, the newly built auditorium was restructured with extensions as ALEM had resorted to hiring canopies and chairs few months after building the auditorium. By divine leading, in 2008 in an exemplary fashion, Rev Eugene Ogu spearheaded the building of the biggest cathedral at the time in Port Harcourt, on completion after 24 months, the cathedral was christened the Temple of Favour” in recognition of the abundant provision of Gods grace. Today, through the commission of ALEM, several other churches has been birthed, generational destinies shaped, souls won and the frontiers of the gospel expanded with the planting of several branches of ALEM within and outside Nigeria.
The Leader and Mentor
With a burning desire and outstanding trait of being hard on issues and soft on people, Apostle Eugene Ogu’s leadership marks has been such with an impeccable history. He has served and serves as
-Vice Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter
-Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rivers State and Bayelsa Chapter
- National Security Adviser, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria
Director, Ecumenism Christian Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter
-Member, National Adjudicator, International Ministers Council of Great Britain and Nigeria
-Member, PFN State Advisory Council
-President, International Ministers Forum
-President, Arm of Hope Foundation amongst others
In all of these positions held, Apostle Eugene Ogu left an indelible mark as he championed the course of the Christian faith and humanity in general. His sterling leadership qualities has endeared him to many within and outside the faith, he is indeed by acts and words, a leader extraordinaire. His published books, Crossing Over Your Jordan, Seed of Change and The Price has greatly impacted and inspired many.
His Philanthropy and Feats
Pastor Eugene Ogu invented the motto: “Except We Care, The People Perish”, and it was on this platform of caring for people, that the Arm of Hope World Outreach, a non-governmental organization was founded. Through a nexus of charitable works, he extends a caring and compassionate arm of hope to the needy, less privileged and the hopeless. Today, hundreds of widows enjoy free Medicare with their children and scholarship for indigent students up to the University cadre. Through Arm of Hope World Outreach, succor has come the way of displaced victims of the incessant religious crises in the northern part of Nigeria.
In a world replete with self seeking philanthropists, Apostle Eugene has carved for himself a niche of silently affecting the course of humanity driven by the vision of ALEM been Except We Care, the People Perish”. In a bid to coordinate the “acts of the gospel, Apostle Ogu and his beloved wife incorporated the Arm of Hope Foundation (a Non Governmental Organization) in 2010 which broadened the reach of his arms to indigent families, orphans, widows and their children and displaced people due to natural or human disasters. To further underscore his unwavering passion for the advancement of human life, Apostle Ogu through the Arm of Hope Foundation has; in 2012, at a crusade organized by the JCCF Uniport, tagged: ‘Come and See’ offered scholarship to over 450 children of widows and widowers here in the University of Port Harcourt up until their graduation.
In response of the Jos crisis as a result of the herdsmen invasion that left over 354 persons dead, he built the Arm of Hope Grammar School, a free school in Dogo Nahauwa to rehabilitate the displaced children in the community as a result of the death of their parents.
He Offered scholarships to over 4,000 indigent students both primary and tertiary levels, donated over 50 bore hole water to several communities, offers yearly free Jamb registration to indigent students and facilitates free JAMB classes, provides free medicals through assistance running into hundreds of millions of naira to members and strangers alike.
He Empowered over 5,000 men and women with start-up capitals and free skill acquisitions, facilitated free legal services for prisoners and oppressed Nigerians,
provided relieve materials to Internally Displaced Persons in Borno, Plateau etc and facilitated the resettlement of Rivers and Bayelsa flood victims.
Recognitions and Awards
Like a golden fish and in recognition of some of his laudable impacts to humanity, Apostle Eugene Ogu is an award recipient of the:-
-Federal and State Governments
-Rotary Club of Nigeria
-Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
-Student Union Governments, Youth Organizations and several other prominent bodies
Apostle Ogu the Illiterate Lectures Professors
A great teacher like his master Jesus Christ, Ogu, who ended his academic career in Elementary 4, teaches professors, Ph. D holders, pilots, engineers, medical doctors etc in his weekly New Convert Class. On one occasion the Use of English lecturer in University of Science & Technology, Port-Harcourt, a no-nonsense professor, sat under Apostle Ogu’s class, taking notes while Ogu was writing on the chalkboard!
As a pastor’s Pastor, Apostle Ogu has pastured over a thousand pastors in Nigeria and abroad, as his office is a spiritual Jerusalem for younger and older pastors, an oasis in the lives of spiritual arid Christians who comes for counseling on a daily basis.
Though as a father to all, not minding denomination or creed, he has interest in progressive ideas and that brought him very close to the politics of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and immediate past Minister of Transportation. Based on this, every morning, he reaches out to people on the hundreds of progressive Social Media platforms, with faith induced messages. This he has continued to do over for six years or so and still counting.
Apostle Ogu the Dreamer Who Prophesied About the Gubernatorial Success of Amaechi
As a custodian of kingdom hidden mysteries, Apostle Ogu ruffled some feathers in Rivers State when, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, declared openly on 31st December 2006 Passover Night that, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, the then Speaker of Rivers House of Assembly, as the next governor! Amaechi was later denied PDP gubernatorial ticket by President Obasanjo and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, describing Amaechi ticket as k-legged. News agents feasted on this prophecy when Sir Celestine Omehia was eventually elected and sworn in as the governor. Many castigated Apostle Ogu and dismissed him as a false prophet. And the table turned on 25th October, 2007 when the Supreme Court sacked Governor Omehia and ordered that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi be sworn in immediately as the governor, proving Apostle Ogu’s prophecy absolutely correct.
Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Salutes This Great Icon of Our Time
In his tribute, the former Rivers State Governor and immediate Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi extolled the virtues of Apostle Eugene Egwuatu Ogu, the General Superintendent of Abundant Life Evangel Mission (ALEM) and the President, Arm of Hope Foundation (AHF), describing him as a great man of God with unshakable integrity, unyielding competence, transparency, humility, simplicity, and uncommon boldness-cum-fearlessness, who staked his life and spiritual reputation to stand on the side of truth and justice in the events that defined the 2007 governorship elections in Rivers state and culminated, eventually, in his emergence as the Governor of the state.
Amaechi went further to describe Apostle Ogu as a charismatic and visionary leader, pro-active thinker, philanthropist, and quintessential preacher, who joined in a spiritual partnership with the two-terms Governor of Rivers State, for service to humanity and Rivers people in particular, and in that union with the great man of God, benefited immensely from God’s favor thereafter.
While acknowledging the extensive services and the great impact of the Arm of Hope Foundation which was founded by Apostle Eugene Ogu and wife Millie, Amaechi recalled partnering with the Arm of Hope Foundation to erect a school for the less privileged and other compassionate and humanitarian deeds,
Apostle Ogu, who is famous for inventing the motto: “Except We Care, The People Perish” for the AHF, as a lover of men and a man who is always caring for people and willing to support every cause that seeks to protect those people in the society who live in the shadows of life,, through charitable works that has extended a caring and compassionate arm of hope and succour to the needy, less privileged, indigent folks, internally displaced victims of the incessant crises across the country and the hopeless in our society.
As a young minister in CPM, Pastor Eugene Ogu was captivated by the alluring beauty and character of Sis. Millie Uboho Ogu (nee Raphael) and on 5th December, 1987 they both tied the knot in holy matrimony. In their 35years of marriage through shared mutual love and understanding, Pastor Barr. Millie Ogu has been a strong support base. The marriage is blessed with one biological son, Mr. Emmanuel Ozioma Ogu and a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Tena Ogu.
At Sixty years, Apostle Eugene Ogu, the Lead Pastor of ALEM, a precise teacher of the word, a song minister, great yet humble servant of God, an acclaimed mentor, a preacher par excellence is widely acclaimed for his boldness, fearlessness, tenacity, uncompromising stance for the truth. He is a social crusader and a revered Minister of the gospel of Christ.
He is a true Man of God, selfless and very unassuming, a man buoyed by the passion for humanity. With due respect to our teeming guests and with a standing ovation, here is our esteemed father, teacher, preacher, prophet, mentor, Apostle Eugene Egwuatu Ogu.
I plead with the entire world to join me to celebrate and wish 60 Garlands to Apostle Eugene Egwuatu Ogu, God’s Axe for a better Nigeria, a General in God’s Vineyard, An outstanding Philanthropist, Peter the Rock of our generation, A Maverick Revolutionist, an enigmatic per excellence, a Progressive of repute and a Phenomenal Personality as he clocks 60.
Happy birthday sir, I wish you God’s stead and more fruitful years ahead for better services to humanity.