Adieu, Chijioke Nwosu (1947 – 2015)
THE Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970 affected our education negatively by drawing us back for the three years the war lasted. He was in Class Five and I was in Class Four in the famous Methodist College Uzuakoli when the war broke out in 1967. In 1970, a good number of us returned to the school to finish our secondary education. Those of us in Class Four were promoted to Class Five to take the WASC exam in 1970.
The WAEC exam in 1970 was cancelled (the notorious expo 1970) and we repeated it in 1971. It was in 1971 that I became close to him – a fair complexioned young man with a lot of brain and beauty. He had no difficulty passing his West African School Certificate exam with Grade One and passing the very competitive entrance exam to the University of Nigeria Medical School. It was in our lower Sixth Form that we caused a stir in the school. It was a tradition for the school management to appoint ‘Old boys’ i.e. those who passed through the school from classes One to Five school prefects, along with a few new students who had come from other schools for their Higher School Certificate (HSC) Education. When the names of prefects for the 1971 /1972 session were announced, Chijioke Nwosu, my humble self and one or two other Old Boys were conspicuously missing in the list.
This revisionist attitude and departure from the norm caused a lot of disaffection among the students as it appeared that the Uzuakoli discipline and moral rectitude, which we had imbibed in the school for five years, was disregarded in favour of relatively new HSC students whom ‘Uzuakoli had not passed through’. The students carried placards and school activities were disrupted for some days. Some of us who were seen as leaders of the student’s demonstration were sent on suspension for some months. In the end, reason prevailed! We were recalled and appointed prefects.
But during the impasse, Chijioke Nwosu passed the examination to the UNN Medical School. This was a great relief and source of joy to us. He mocked the school management saying that their disregard for him by not appointing him prefect was a blessing in disguise as he had now gone into ‘better life’. We recalled this episode with relish whenever we met or discussed our days in Methodist College, Uzuakoli.
Dr Chijioke Nwosu was born on September 27, 1947, as the fourth out of the 10 children of Pa Elder Matthew Madukwe Nwosu and Ma Elder (Mrs) Nwano Nwosu of Amaedukwu Nkpa, Okpuhu Nkpa Autonomous Community, in Bende Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia State. He was born in Ndoro Ikwuano LGA while his father was a Head Master of the then prominent Methodist School, Ndoro, Oboro.
He had his Elementary School education at Okpuhu Nkpa Central School, Lohum Central School, Ozuitem Central School and Uzuakoli Practicing School respectively. While, in Uzuakoli Practicing School, he passed the entrance examination into the famous Methodist College, Uzuakoli, in 1963, from where he got his West African School Certificate. While in Secondary School, he was very popular and sociable. He was a good athlete and also won the All Round Medal (VICTOR LUDORUM) in 1971. He also participated actively in church activities.
He obtained the degree of M.B.B.CH and became a Medical Doctor in 1978. Between 1978 and 1979, he did House Job at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City. His National Youth Service was with Nigerian Air Force, Port Harcourt between 1979 and 1980.
In 1984, he established a 25-bed hospital, UDO POLY CLINICS at 9/10 Chief Ejims Street Rumuobiakani, Obio, Port Harcourt, where he practiced Medicine as the Medical Director until his demise.
Nwosu was born, baptised and grew up as a Methodist, hence his very deep involvement in the affairs of Methodist Church of Nigeria during his lifetime. In 1995, he contributed handsomely during Wesley Methodist Church, 1 Harbour Road, Port Harcourt church building extension project for which his name was clearly written on the Honours List. He was a strong member of the Men’s Fellowship.
He contributed immensely to community development in the areas of electricity, water, road network and public health within Abia State, which earned him many awards, honours and chieftaincy titles.
Nwosu was a very active member of professional bodies including Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) and Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN). He attended many local and international conferences.
Since 2007, he had a running battle with kidney disease for which he underwent a successful kidney transplant in 2008 in India. We had thought he had overcome, but it was not to be as it failed in 2011. He managed this health challenge until he bowed to the debilitating illness on July 27, 2015.
Rest in peace, Osuala Martins. May the Good Lord whom you served diligently through your humanitarian activities receive you in His Bosom, as your remains are laid to rest on Saturday, November 21, 2015.
Ekpe is a Media and PR Consultant based in Abuja.