A lady soliloquist, while alighting from the Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport yesterday, said, “I wish the duo of Chief Willie Obiano and his wife, Osodieme, could stay longer in office after March 17”. One might say she was thinking aloud or that it was a mere wishful thinking.
However, the fact remains that the couple has set indelible footprints on the sands of time. Chief Obiano has written his name in gold as a governor who transcended Anambra to an Eldorado state through his legacy projects and more, without borrowing or owing, not even workers. His wife, on the other hand is an epitome of charity, care, kindness and Mother Theresa of our Time.
Osodieme, like Barbara Taylor and Mother Theresa, is a woman who ascended to mountaintops, found the loftiest peaks, most wrapped in clouds and snow; she then found the surpassed and subdued mankind and looked down on the hate of those below. By her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), Dr Mrs Obiano has built many new bungalows, equipped with bedding, furniture, bore holes, with over-head tanks and generators and handed over, free of charge, to indigent widows across Anambra State.
Founded on the wings of passion for helping the needy, CAFÉ has, so far, etched its name in gold in the pantheon of charitable organizations. Through CAFÉ, Mrs Obiano empowered women, particularly widows, youths, the disables, orphans, motherless babies and the hoi-poloi in the Society.
Driven by an unusual compassion and belief in the remarkable thoughts of John Bunyan’s in The Pilgrim’s Progress: “You have not lived today, until you have done something for someone who can never repay you,” Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano has effectively used the CAFÉ platform to expand the frontiers of charitable giving like never seen before in these paths.
Mama Anambra has promoted hygiene and the dignity of women with campaign to stop Open Defecation and has constructed several modern public toilets in markets across the State. Also, to assist women in hard-to-reach communities, Osodieme has completed many water borehole projects to complement government efforts in water supply and hygiene.
In fact, the positive impact of the water projects attracted global recognitions and partnerships with reputable organizations to CAFE and appreciations of Dr. Mrs. Obiano’s charitable initiatives with conferment of awards as EU/UNICEF Water Health and Sanitation (WASH) Ambassador, as well as United Nations Peace Ambassador and Award from the Mayor of London Borough of Brent, among many others.
In the same vein, working in collaboration with Smile Train Incorporated, Osodieme has facilitated free corrective surgeries for hundreds of children and persons with congenital mouth disorders of Cleft lip and Cleft palate. In recognition of her selfless services through CAFÉ to cleft care, Mrs Obiano was made Smile Train Ambassador.
CAFÉ has also provided over 5,000 physically challenged persons with prosthetic limbs and mobility aides. Perhaps, the most impactful and enduring programme of the NGO is in the promotion of human capital development with over 6,000 beneficiary women, widows and physically challenged trained and empowered in various skills under its Skills Training and Empowerment programme.
Dr. Mrs Obiano provided them succor on different areas, such as Fashion and Designing, Hair dressing, Make Up Artist, Confectionary, Agriculture, Production of Toiletries, Production of Household goods like Disinfectants, Mosquito repellents, Detergents, Bar Soaps, Liquid Soap, Air Fresheners, Sanitizers etcetera.
Also, in collaboration with the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, CAFÉ has successfully treated and repatriated back home over 150 cases of mentally challenged persons at its 77-bed facility at Nteje, thus ridding Anambra streets of stray mentally challenged persons.
There is no doubt therefore that Governor Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, Akpokuedike Global and his wife, Chief Dr Ebelechukwu Obiano, Osodieme are Siemens-Martin steel sent to Anambra to change the status constructus of the state. For sure, posterity will accord them befitting accolade.
Thank God they made the right choices in succession as Professor Chukwuma Soludo and his wife, Nonye, are equally good match. Suffice it to say that Anambra is a state after God’s heart.
WRITTEN BY COMRADE PETER NWOSU