Again, Prized Garland for Osodieme

By Emeka Ozumba 
Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) ( Wife of Governor of Anambra State.)
Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) ( Wife of Governor of Anambra State.)

As the global community awaits the resolution of the electoral impasse in the United States, the world's most celebrated democracy, a delegation from the Sun Publishing Limited, Nigeria's renowned tabloid, is on its way to Awka, Anambra State to confer the "Most Supportive First Lady of the Year 2019" Award on the wife of the Governor of Anambra State, and founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), Her Excellency, Dr (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano(Osodieme).

The award review panel found Mrs Obiano worthy to be so garlanded in recognition of her selfless and outstanding work in human capacity development of the indigent, including widows, who she built free houses. She also gave new skills to women and youths, made life-changing interventions with provision of cleft lip/palate surgeries for children and prosthetic limbs for the physically challenged, among other interventions.

Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) Wife of Governor of Anambra State.

The advent of Covid-19 with its debilitating impact stalled the award conferment ceremony, an elaborate event held every year to recognise achievers in various categories. In keeping with its goal of inspiring leadership in various fields, the Sun Publishing team

decided that a modest presentation event would help sustain the tradition of excellence.

Like the saying, "little drops of water make a mighty ocean," Mrs Obiano's devotion to charity derives from the positive impact her selfless acts makes in the gradual transformation of the individual and the society. Germany Kent, an American broadcast journalist, captures the essence when she said: "It is in the pursuits for the good of humanity and through purposeful deeds and endeavors that you own your power and soar to extraordinary levels of living".

Beneficiary of Cleft lip Surgery (Before/After)

Mrs Obiano's long foray into charity is derived from a family tradition. That came handy in support of her husband on assumption of office as Governor of Anambra state and has been enhanced by dint of commitment and perseverance.

Many attest to the fact that none among her peers is better qualified for the "Most Supportive First Lady", considering her record of achievements.

Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) and two free cleft surgery beneficiaries.

To date, CAFE, her charity organisation, has built and given 27 free houses to indigent widows and trained and empowered over 5,400 of them. The NGO also gave women and youths life-sustaining skills, facilitated free cleft lip/palate surgeries for more than 100 children with congenital mouth disorder, provided free prosthetic limbs to 2,800 beneficiaries, promoted hygiene and dignity of women with 22 public toilets built in rural markets. It also provided treatment and rehabilitation for over 100 mentally challenged persons.

Osodieme, as she is formally recognised, is a recipient of several awards both locally and internationally, all in recognition of her commitment to charity and welfare of the less privileged. The awards include: Woman of Excellence Award 2019; Zik Prize for Leadership in Humanitarian Services 2017; Smile Train Ambassador Award 2017; Irish Red Cross Award for Services to Humanity; Onye Anambra of the Year 2017, by Anambra Irish Professionals Association (AIPA); and Anambra State Association (ASA) Women, Ireland Award for Services to Humanity 2017. Others are: Primetime Reporters First Lady of the Year Award 2016; Most Valuable Governors’ Wife Award 2016/2017; Excellence Award 2016 by Nigerian Women of Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America; EU/UNICEF Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador; and Eminent Peace Ambassador of United Nations 2014.

Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) and Skills training graduands.

All told, this precious moment of award for Mrs Obiano is best captured in her own words: "Wherever and whenever life is touched, government has succeeded."