Commentary: Dr Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, A Woman Of Substance

That Chief Dr. Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano is a woman of substance, vision and charity is stating the obvious. Osodieme, through her pet project, CAFÉ, has endeared herself to, not just women, children, persons with disabilities and youths, but to the generality of Ndi Anambra and the world at large.

As she rounds off her tenure as first lady of Anambra on March 17, 2022, the good people of the state, like Oliver Twist, would ever want some more. There is no doubt that succession is an important obligation of leadership and that part of a leader’s silent mission should be to find someone with the right orientation and temperament to succeed him or her.

Osodieme, no doubt, is a pace setter, go-getter, a game changer, a visionary, humble and generous mother per excellence. She is a binding factor and denominator between the haves and the have not.

Fortunately, during the electioneering for the November 6 governorship election, Dr Mrs. Obiano toured all the communities in the state along with the wife of the governor-elect, Queen Nonye Soludo. It is therefore heartwarming that Mrs Soludo is abreast with the responsibilities awaiting her from March 17.

For sure, Ndi Anambra would want to continue to savour the goodies of Osodieme’s magnanimity. Overtime, Dr Mrs Obiano met the most pressing needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens of the state by not only promoting and securing their access to social services but by also facilitating their integration into the economic and cultural activities of humanity. Today Osodieme has transformed the lives of rural women, orphaned children, the down trodden, less privileged, inmates of correctional centers and persons living with disabilities.

At a time when the fallout of flooding and acts of terrorism caused mass exodus of some Nigerians from their original places of abode with attendant challenges to local economy of communities where they sought refuge, Osodieme rose to the occasion and headed straight to address the issues of basic shelter, general hygiene and food shortage in some holding camps. She led a contingent of donors to save Anambra women and children from starvation and diseases.

In addition, Osodieme has facilitated the empowerment of over 6,000 indigent women and youths via skills acquisition and trainings. She provided start-up grants as working capital and purchase of equipment in various ventures like hair dressing, beauty therapy, fashion design, confectionery as well as community health services.

At Nteje, Oyi LGA, Dr. Mrs. Obiano set up a Mentally Challenged Persons Home, equipped with skills acquisition centre and a sickbay. So far, over 120 inmates have been successfully rehabilitated and reunited with their loved ones. At Isulo, Orumba-South LGA, she rescued the School for Children with Special Needs from desolation and the children saved from what appeared to be a disastrous end.

Osodieme procured and distributed thousands of prosthetic limbs and wheel chairs to physically challenged persons, irrespective of gender, religion and political inclination. This is unrivaled till date in Nigeria!

In 2020, the South East caucus of Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, stood still and watched in emotions as Osodieme came through for ace actor, late Ernest Azuzu and moved him from Lagos to Awka for treatment and visited him at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital ward and rehabilitated him thereafter.

Her regular Local Government tours and engagements made her the only Anambra First Lady with visibility in all localities in the state. It is therefore not surprising that Dr Mrs Obiano built, completed and handed over to widows over 28 self-contained, well-furnished bungalows across the state. Like her husband, what the wife of the governor did in Anambra state is unprecedented and too numerous to mentioned.

Happily, her successor, Queen Nonye Soludo, wife of Professor C. C. Soludo, CFR, has assured that she would continue from where Osodieme would stop. Ndi Anambra are, therefore, full of expectations, knowing full well that Mrs Soludo herself, from past experience, is a visionary woman and a humane amazon who holds the key to uplifting Anambra’s less fortunate ones.

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