By Jude Atupulazi
In his dedication to advancing critical aspects of human development, Mr. Peter Obi, the former Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, has reaffirmed his commitment by donating N10 million at the foundation laying ceremony of the Department of Midwifery and Public Health Nursing of the Millennium College of Nursing Sciences of the Awka Anglican Communion in Awka.
He said that through his planned giving, that he would be part of the project till fruition. Mr. Obi had previously donated N40 million to Faith Specialist Hospital, where the College is domiciled. The contribution aims to enhance the Diocese’s overall initiatives in strengthening its healthcare facilities.
Speaking at the event, which took place in Awka Saturday, September, 9, Obi said his motivation for this gesture stemmed from his belief that healthcare was one of the critical developmental needs of any society. He encouraged the support of institutions like the Church in their ongoing efforts to develop those vital areas.
Obi explained that his motivation to provide assistance was rooted in the understanding that those facilities did not solely benefit the bishop and his priests but rather the entire populace of the state. He pledged his commitment to the project and even mentioned his intention to leverage his connections to secure funding from his friends.
The Anglican Bishop of Awka and the Archbishop of Niger Province, Most Rev’d Dr. Alexander Ibezim, commended Mr. Obi for consistently demonstrating his commitment to the welfare of the masses. He cited Mr. Obi’s past accomplishments in Anambra State, such as the return of schools to the Church and massive financial support to the schools, as well as substantial financial support for healthcare, as exemplary actions that other leaders should emulate when genuinely dedicated to serving the people.
In elucidating the significance of Obi’s contributions to society, the cleric, referring to him as “the builder of both individuals and institutions”, emphasized how his investments in education and healthcare dramatically transformed the landscape of those vital sectors within the state.
Additionally, Obi’s former Commissioner and Chief of Staff, Prof. Stella Okunna, praised the Church for its dedication to initiatives that improved society. She recalled that during Obi’s tenure as Governor, his vision was aligned with global developmental goals. Under his leadership, the healthcare sector was completely revitalized. Before his tenure, Anambra had no accredited health institutions, but during his time, the state gained many, including two accredited hospitals, Okunna recalled.
She said through Obi’s partnership with the Church, institutions like Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi; Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha; St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha and St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu; now had accredited Schools of Nursing, School of Midwifery, and Schools of Health Technology.
She also mentioned Obi’s significant support for the establishment of the School of Nursing at the Diocesan Hospital of Amichi Anglican Diocese, emphasizing that Obi’s efforts contributed to the elevation of Iyi-Enu Hospital to a University Teaching Hospital.
Furthermore, Okunna emphasized that it was Obi’s government that initiated the construction of Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital from the scratch, equipped it, and secured accreditation. His administration also built 10 new maternity and child care facilities in remote areas of the state, and purchased close to 100 ambulances for select Anambra Hospitals. Rehabilitation of 15 General Hospitals in the three senatorial zones of the state, building of over 120 Primary Health Centres across various communities in the state,’ Okunna further enumerated, noting that Obi’s achievements were so outstanding that he won first prize in the Bill and Melinda Gates prize for Polio Immunization.
Mrs. Chisom Ezulike, the provost, conveyed her appreciation regarding Obi’s gesture. She expressed her humility when Obi generously provided her with his contact information, encouraging her to reach out at any time for discussions on the institutions’ advancements and any challenges they might encounter.