BIOGRAPHY OF HON. PASCHAL OBI (UGWUMSINACHI) IDEATO NATION@50.
Written by Greg Chukwudi Agba (Founder, CEO, EpochsearchTV)
It would take some twirling of the medulla to design with the right phrases, the strides created by greatly influential men, especially those who keep winning and triumphing in whatever they venture in. Their reflections are better cut out as legacies for a long breed of hopefuls, so that the trait of triumphing and accomplishing would spread through generation as seen in the life of Hon. (Dr) Paschal Chigozie Obi.
From the day Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi was born, the evidence of hand of God towards his destiny was evident.
Born into the family Late Chief Edwin Eluwa Obi Mmeje and Lolo Virginia Obi Mmeje (Akwuete) of Umuduruanyanwu village in Obiohia Autonomous community in Ideato South Local Government Area, of Imo State on 15th day of July, 1970, Ugwumsinachi began his academic pilgrimage in 1976, at Community Primary School Obiohia. Even at that early stage, the mind of this young village lad was set on excelling at education, and nothing – no one – could dissuade him. His battle for academic excellence became clearer by 1982 as he graduated top in his class.
From Community Primary School Obiohia, where he began his odyssey, he proceeded to Comprehensive Secondary School, Urualla, where he completed his senior secondary school in 1987. His outstanding performance in West African Examination Council and JAMB examinations earned him admission into the then Imo State University Uturu, now Abia State University in the same 1987.
Dee, as fondly called by his peers, is a man of foresight and rugged tenacity of purpose. As an under graduate, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi became a most sort after treasure because of his outstanding academic performance and bagged Doctor of Optometry in 1993.
Never ever one to be pushy or angling recognition, yet, honours and distinction found a way of seeking him out at every turn.
Between 1994 and 1995, the young promising Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi was mobilized to Kaduna State for the compulsory one year National Youth Service programme. As a corps member, he was posted to Ahmadu Bello teaching hospital for his primary assignment.
Dee was obsessed with the love for academics and research and decided as soon as he gained his first degree that he wanted to embark on academic career as a teacher in the higher institution.
From Ahmadu Bello teaching hospital, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi proceeded to King Saud University in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he lectured for a while under the tutelage of Late Prof. Paul Ogbehi who was his external examiner when he was graduating from the then Imo State University, Uturu.
It is important to note, that upon returning to Nigeria from the Saudi Arabia, Ugumsinachi immediately joined the nation’s leading name in optics Niger Optical Services Company and finally moved to the eastern heartland Owerri in 1998.
As a lover of education and self-development, he enrolled in the school of Post Graduate Studies of the prestigious University of Nigeria, Enugu campus (UNEC) where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health in 2010.
Ugwumsinachi rose to become the acting Director of Public Health and Primary Health care in the state ministry of Health and also the coordinator National Programme for Prevention of Blindness (VISION 2020).
As a civil servant, he was humble, cool-headed and hardworking, discharging his duties diligently with his organizational abilities and strong capacity for mobilizing resources for growth and development which became evident in the state Health sector. He carried everybody along in his style of governance – yet he never dithered to discipline if the need arises. His disarming candour and forthrightness would remain a rich legacy bequeathed to the emerging generation.
Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi is widely known for his muti-skilled prowess. During this period he was also a part-time lecturer in the Faculty of Health Science, Imo State University, Owerri.
Chinua Achebe’s Things fall apart would have asked the question; Did Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi crack the nut himself or was the nut cracked by his chi, the benevolent spirit. In June 2011, the Imo Rescue Government appointed him a permanent secretary and Principal Secretary to the Governor, a position he held till August 2018.
Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi’s determination to advance the welfare of his people on a wider level made him to put on his boot to march into the murky waters of Nigerian politics.
Ugwumsinachi went through the extra-ordinary political baptism of fire having been selected on merit, rejected by the powers that be at the party Hierarchy in Abuja, and then re-anointed by the ordinary masses in Ideato Nation.
A lover of humanity who derives joy in helping others not minding the background or religious affiliations, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi created, nurtured and has been funding the Equity foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that has touched many lives positively especially in the area of Education and human capacity development to mention but a few.
It is important to note that, since 2015, all the secondary schools in Ideato Nation both Public and Private enjoy free holiday lessons during every long vacation courtesy the foundation.
Moreover, fifty five indigent students of Ideato extractions benefit yearly from Equity Foundation free WAEC registration exercise.
It is on the record that Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi out of his benevolence secured employment for more than 200 people into the public and private sectors. Those in informal sector also benefited through his business support programme.
Interestingly, despite his position and influence in the society, Ugwumsinachi is accessible anytime, anywhere, by anybody.
Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi’s political history includes several periods of near disastrous challenges that were overcome almost miraculously. Based on his tremendous impact on his people, the people of his Federal constituency beckoned on him on a rescue mission to represent them at the National Assembly. This clarion call was positively responded to by Ugwumsinachi. Thus, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi contested for the Federal House seat for Ideato North/South Federal Constituency which he won on the February 23rd, 2019 General election.
Consequently, On Tuesday 11th of June, 2019, the 9th national assembly was inaugurated with Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi as member representing Ideato North/South Federal constituency in the green Chambers.
The 9th Assembly elected the leaders both at the Senate and House of Representatives, this time the All Progressives Congress (APC) choice candidates.
It is a win win scenario for Ideato North/South Federal constituency as Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi made another landmark history as the first technocrat to represent Ideato Nation.
Within twelve months of his sojourn at Green Chamber of the National Assembly, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi initiated the following bills:
Optometrists and Dispensing Optician Act (1992) Amendment Bill, Land Resources and Technology Act to establish the Federal College of Land Resources and Technology, Oforola, Imo State, Federal Fistula Centre Act: The law establishing the Federal Fistula Centre at Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and Control of infectious Disease Act targeted at controlling the prevalence of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
Similarly, under the same period he moved for several motions in a bid to improve the lot of his beloved constituents’ who voted him. These include an Urgent call on the Federal Government to carry out full rehabilitation and construction Akwakuma – Orlu – Mgbee – Obiohia – Urualla – Akokwa – Uga Federal road, and a motion for the canalization of river banks to protect Ideato communities from excessive flooding during rainy season.
In addition to this, the lawmaker moved a motion urging the Federal Government to create one Federal Government College (FGC) in Imo State, recalling that every state in Nigeria has three Federal Government Colleges except Imo State. This motion received instant approval and the oriented Federal lawmaker insisted that it will be cited in Ideato Nation.
Ugwumsinachi also moved a motion for total turnaround maintenance of the National Orthopaedic hospital which was also adopted as well as a motion for the extension of Federal Medical Centre Owerri to Ideato which was unanimously approved and to be included in the 2021 budget.
Others include, motion on the looming recurrence of Ebola crises in Nigeria stressing the need for the Federal Government to put in place detective measures at the Airports, Seaports and Land Borders plus a motion urging the Federal Government of Nigeria to build more Ear/Eye hospitals in other parts of the country since the only Ear/Eye hospital is located in the Kaduna and again, the motion was unanimously approved, paving way for the creation an Ear Centre in Lagos and Eye Centre in Owerri, Imo State.
Added to these sterling contributions at the National Assembly, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi has initiated laudable projects that will impact directly on the lives and general wellbeing of residents of every community in the Ideato Nation.
One of such commendable projects is the commencement of drilling of twelve boreholes at designated points within these communities, Urualla, Uzii, Obodoukwu, Awalla, Dikenafai, Ugbelle, Orie Umuobom, Umumaisiaku, Amanato, Ndianiche Uno-Arondizuogu, Osina, Obiohia and many more underway.
Not surprising also, the great achiever has also impacted positively on the human capacity development of the Ideato people through:
Interactive/Collaborative skill Acquisition Delivery Mechanism for Organisations and Ideato Citizenry.
Project Scheme II on Setting Service Standards among Secondary Schools.
Training on Advance Techniques in Emerging Techniques for Youths and women of Ideato North/South Federal Constituency.
Internet and Computer Technology Development Training in Imo State.
Training on Skill Acquisition Mechanization and Setting Standard in Ideato North/South Federal Constituency.
Training of Youth and Women on Fish farming in Ideato North/South Federal Constituency with many of them across (27) Electoral wards of Ideato Nation benefitting from the programme already.
In his usual caring manner for his constituents, during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi distributed over six thousand safety kits like sanitizers, face masks and hand gloves against coronavirus pandemic in Ideato Nation and also shared five hundred (500) bags of (50kg) rice and one thousand cartoons of noodles to the indigent needy and widows in Ideato North/South Federal Constituency as a palliative to cushion the effect of hardship occasioned by COVID-19 lockdown.
It is important to note that Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi, as a new house member in the 9th Assembly broke the records of all other previous representatives in Ideato Nation, by becoming the Chairman of a sensitive standing committee. According to the leadership of the house lead by Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajiabiamila, “THE PROFILE OF DR. PASCHAL CHIGOZIE OBI IS NOT ONLY OUTSTANDING BUT INTIMIDATING WHICH QUALIFIES HIM THE TO CHAIR THE HOUSE STANDING COMMITTEE ON HEALTH INSTITUTIONS IN OTHER TO MEET THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS OF NIGERIANS”.
This development counters the claim of some past representatives who in a bid to hoodwink the innocent electorates in to electing them for a second tenure for Ideato North/South Federal Constituency falsely promoted the propaganda that to produce a standing house committee chairman one has to be elected for a second time.
Within twelve months as a member representing Ideato North/South Federal Constituency, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi has secured employments in the Federal Health institutions across Nigeria for the following graduates in Ideato Nation.
Uba Uzochukwu Anthony from Arondizuogu – HEALTH SERVICES MANAGEMENT BOARD F.C.T, ABUJA.
Dr. Igwe Henry Chinaezerem from Obodoukwu and Ojiaku Chika Lilian a Nurse from Uzii – NATIONAL HOSPITAL ABUJA.
Dr. Chioma Okorocha from Ogboko – UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL ABUJA.
Dr. Ndukwe Uzochukwu from Isiekenaesi – NATIONAL ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL ENUGU.
Dr. Raymond Akamonu from Umumaisiaku, Dr Ekene T. Onyenakazi from Umuchima and Dr. Ebenezar from Akwu-Owerri Akokwa – ALEX EKWUEME FEDERAL TEACHING HOSPITAL, EBONYI STATE.
Ako Henrietta a Nurse from Isiekenesi and Michael Nwafor from Iheme-Arondizuogu – FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE, OWERRI.
Dr. Darlington Obi from Umualaoma – NNAMDI AZIKIWE TEACHING HOSPITAL NNEWI
Others include Franklin Okanumee a Microbiologist from Ntueke, Kevin Anyiam from Isiekenesi, Kizito Egbuawa from Ugbelle, Egbugha Lawrencia a Nurse from Umuojishi-Isiekenesi, Dr. Nwokedi Victor C. from Urualla and Dr. Emmanuel Uzochukwu from Ndi-Imoko Arondizuogu. – UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOUT TEACHING HOSPITAL to mention but a few
At the community level, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi exhibited ingenuity in resolving Ezeship tussle that would have plunged his community into endless crisis.
Ugwumsinachi fought several battles – both at the community level and at the place of work and as always, he was swayed by logic, reason, principles and good conscience. He never applied underhand tactics, nor did he ever unfairly exploit the confidence and trust of colleagues. He respected even his foes, and always insisted on conveying to them what is their right, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi always stood on the firm ground of principles, good values and character.
In spite of time dedicated to his educational pursuit Ugwumsinachi still had time for love. He met and fell in love with his heart-throb Dr. Jennifer Ifeoma Obi (LSM), who was indeed the missing rib to this noble kinsman.
We salute this quintessential scholar, Technocrat, UDUU, community leader, traditional Prime Minister, Administrator extra-ordinary, Pillar of education, Knight of the Church, and father of six children and countless others who identify with this icon of knowledge, wisdom and sagacity.
(Greg Chukwudi Agba is the Founder, CEO, EpochsearchTV, on of the leading communication platforms in Nigeria for promotion of socio-cultural values of diverse destinations in Nigeria and exemplary works of worthy personalities in the country).