FAMILY of businessman and Executive Vice-Chairman of Chrome Group, Sir Emeka Offor, has chided a New-York based online news medium, over what it described as a deliberate targeted smear campaign against their son (Emeka Offor), possibly for economic gain and at the behest of certain unscrupulous elements.
The minority leader in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Onyebuchi Offor, reacted to recent publications by the online medium, alleging that Offor was broke and that a former Senate President and two others were out to save him, from government’s sledge hammer.
The lawmaker, who spoke on behalf of the family in a statement on Thursday, said the publications were designed to defame Sir Emeka Offor, an illustrious son of Igboland.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to recent publications by New-York based online medium, which are evidently designed to defame Sir Emeka Offor, an illustrious son of Igboland.
“Given the patent falsehood running the gamut of the said publications, we consider that the online medium has constituted itself the orchestrator and purveyor of a targeted smear campaign against Sir Emeka Offor, possibly for economic gain and at the behest of certain unscrupulous elements.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Sir Emeka Offor is one of the most industrious and accomplished Nigerians of his generation. He has attracted and enjoyed God’s entrepreneurial and pecuniary blessings for over three decades. He has, in turn, consistently channelled those blessings toward the betterment of his fellow man (and woman and child) by remarkable acts of philanthropy. Notable among the plethora of honours and recognitions that he has received in that regard is the award by the Rotary Club International for his immense contributions towards humanity and the global war against polio.
“We wish to make clear that contrary to their libellous assertions, the following is the true and unimpeachable position with regard to Sir Emeka Offor: He is hale and hearty. Sir Offor is a happily married man with beautiful children whom he loves abundantly and who love him very much in return. His multinational businesses continue to thrive and prosper by the grace of God.
“Similarly, his personal wealth continues to endure for the benefit of the multitudes who have benefited from his legendary largesse, munificence and altruism. Planning by the family for the burial of our late father, Pa Offor, continues apace. We find it disgusting that the medium chose to disrespect the memory of Pa Offor by bringing him into their odious publications.”
The statement further added that “Sir Emeka Offor’s contributions to the local community are innumerable; he contributed over 50 per cent to the building of Oraifite Civic Centre, which stands as one of the best civic centres in the South-East of Nigeria.
“Sir Emeka Offor has run a remarkable university scholarship scheme for over 20 years with the provision of a car and automatic employment for beneficiaries graduating with first-class degrees. Thousands of Nigerians have been proud beneficiaries of this scheme to date.
“The illustrious businessman runs a widows’ cooperative society with over 3,000 members as of today. Under the auspices of this cooperative society, he sent a significant number of the widows to India for training on managing a cooperative society. They have subsequently been able to establish a microfinance bank and other thriving micro enterprises.
“Sir Emeka Offor singlehandedly constructed a major community road (off Onitsha/Owerri road to Oraifite /Nnewiborder). This project was executed by renowned civil engineering and contracting firm, MCC.
“Sir Emeka Offor built Ekwusigo LGA Central Police Station. He provided a free water scheme for the four quarters of Oraifite (Unodu, Ezumeri, Irefi and Ifite).
“Do we talk about the various skill acquisition programmes undertaken by youths of Ekwusigo LGA under Sir Emeka Offor’s Youth Empowerment Scheme? Just last year, Sir EmekaOffor not only trained over 100 youths in various skill acquisition programmes, but also empowered them financially to start their own businesses on completion of their training.
“Sir Emeka Offor is a serial job creator with over 3,000 Nigerians under his payroll, indirectly creating over 10,000 jobs in addition.
“Apart from within his conglomerate, Sir Emeka has helped innumerable people secure jobs in Nigeria and abroad. The breadwinners of many families are gainfully employed today through the efforts of this great member of the Offor family.
“Sir Emeka Offor’s star of charity shines far beyond his immediate community. Again, we wish to mention but a few of his national and international works of benevolence: Partnering with a US based NGO, he has, through his eponymous Foundation, donated books, reading materials and computers worth over $22 million to schools and communities in more than 18 countries in Africa including Nigeria.
“Sir Offor has established a glaucoma research centre at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Mainz, Germany and in conjunction, established a Nigerian fellowship for cataract surgery and glaucoma management at the university.
“Sir Emeka Offor donated $2 million, which was matched with a grant of an additional $4 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative launched by the Rotary International, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control.
“Sir Emeka Offor, through his Foundation, entered into a long-term agreement with The Carter Centre to eliminate river blindness (‘onchocerciasis’) in Nigeria. Pursuant thereto, Sir Emeka Offor provided a $10 million grant to the Carter Centre, the largest grant ever received by the Centre, to facilitate the Centre’s efforts in eliminating river blindness in Nigeria,” statement read in part.