The Anambra State House of Assembly holds a special session today in honour of Dr Edwin Onwudiwe, a Second Republic senator and Commissioner for Health in the old Anambra State.
According to a statement by Dr Pascal Agbodike, the Deputy Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, “Dr Onwudiwe was not just a senator, but a remarkable achiever.
“He was the first senator from the Omambala culture area, which comprises today’s Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum and Oyi Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
“One of the first medical doctors from the area, Sen. Onwudiwe, 85, was also a highly regarded gynecologist, who studied in Nigeria, United Kingdom and Switzerland and came out in flying colours.
“After serving as the Commissioner for Health in the old Anambra State under Governor Jim Nwobodo from 1979 to 2003, he became a senator at a time the father of the current Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, The Right Honorable Uche Okafor, was in the state legislature in Enugu.’’
Meanwhile, the decision of the Anambra State House of Assembly to hold a special session of the late senator has received praise.
Describing Onwudiwe as one source of inspiration, the Traditional Ruler of Nteje in Oyi LGA, Igwe Roland Odegbo, recalled his generosity.
“He gave me a huge amount of money in the early 1980s when I was travelling to the United States to study journalism,’’ the monarch said.
“Those who knew him were always astonished at his versatility and his competence.
“No sooner he went into banking than Dr Onwudiwe became the chairman of a new generation bank and discussed corporate issues, finance and economics with a competence that dazzled professionals in these areas.’’
Igwe Odegbo, who is the co-chair of the Anambra Broadcasting Service, noted: “Some of us chose to study journalism and mass communication because of his eloquence, as he spoke English and Igbo in a mesmerising manner”.
Dr Onwudiwe will be buried on Friday, November 13, in his hometown of Ogbunike in Oti LGA.