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Ugboma: Celebration and Presentation of Garlands to an Icon

Ugboma: Celebration and Presentation of Garlands to an Icon

Ugboma: Celebration and Presentation of Garlands to an Icon; a Multi-faceted Personality; a Seasoned and Extraordinary Administrator; a Humanist, Enigma, Trailblazer in the Field of Medicine, Exemplary Party Loyalist and Promoter and Advocate of Good Governance; a Reminiscence of Selfless Service; an Intellectual Giant and a Leader par Excellence on this auspicious day of his birthday

By
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze.

The date November 15 is symbolic to humanity especially those from Rivers State who have gone through the crucibles of theoretical and practical politics under the guiding influence of a man with unparalleled legacies in public service, former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

This day reminds us of God’s awesomeness and love to humanity as in His infinite mercy and love, He decided to bless mankind with a unique personality in the person of Professor Henry Arinze Anthony Ugboma JP, MNIM B.Sc. (NIG), MBBS (NIG), FWACS, FICS., a personality who is a source of joy to everyone that crosses his golden path.

Besides his philanthropic gestures, Ugboma freely relates with people of all classes and has been a pillar of support to the progressive course to liberate Rivers from the shackles of dearth of leadership; a course in which he believes. The fact remains that the person and personality of Prof. Ugboma is a rare breed. Give me thirty of his calibre and I will turn this country into a beacon of possibilities.

Ugboma has also distinguished himself as an embodiment of competence in public office; a rare specie of administrator whose track record of achievements in the health profession has restored confidence in public health institutions especially, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), where he holds sway as Chief Medical Medical Director.

A proud son of Rivers State and public servant extraordinaire, Ugboma has carved a niche for himself in all spheres and posterity will continue to be fair to him for his unwavering commitment to the health and safety of members of the public whose health needs at UPTH are met with very professional and accelerated attention.

The trailblazing leadership model adopted by Ugboma has transformed the formerly moribund UPTH into a health tourism site for all Nigerians. With the daily delivery of top-notch machines to the institution as well as the modern health facilities added to the institution’s catalogue of equipment, there are countless reasons for the rain of warm felicitations that has continued to pour-in on the CMD in commemoration of his birth.

The entrance of Prof. Henry Ugboma into the politics of Rivers State was not only timely but came at a time the presence of people of his sorts were needed to effect some loud changes in the polity.

The thinking in many quarters is that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi committed an unforgivable sin by nurturing a political family in the State and by way of punishment, he must not only provide food for all members of his political circle, but must also cater for their children’s wellbeing and ensure that their house rents are promptly paid.

However, Prof. Ugboma came into the system, saw the unfortunate scenario and made frantic efforts to arrest the ugly trend by ensuring that loyalists and especially people at the grassroots whose voices are not strong enough to project thunderous echoes to catch the attention of the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, are provided with substantial means of livelihood.

Today, in Rivers State, aside from the former Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and to some extent the Rivers State Government, Ugboma belongs to the class of selfless public servants with remarkable landmarks in providing employment to the teeming unemployed youths from Rivers State. He provides scholarships where necessary, to indigent students and is always available to identify with all in times of joy and grief.

A good party man, Ugboma rose to be an ardent supporter and ally of the then Governor of Rivers State and former Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on no other footing than the Governor’s instinctive ability and inherent dexterity in the delivery of key democratic dividends to the good people of Rivers State on whose wings he rose to serve for two consecutive terms, within which period he made giant strides with a legendary track-record of annual sectoral account of stewardships which notably outstrip the cumulative achievements of previous governments; a heroic deed which has established a very tough and mountainous barometer with which to measure subsequent administrations.

As a loyal confidant and intelligent follower of the ‘Amaechi School of Politics and Public Administration’, Ugboma went through the necessary rudiments and acquired distinction in public service and was consequently enrolled into the ‘corps d’elite’ circle, a class of topnotcher with special acumen and mastery of the conduct of the business of government. His enrollment saw his emergence as a revered political stalwart and leader of tact whose constructive criticisms against the docile administration of Gov. Wike and the People’s Democratic Party send shivers down the spine of opposition leaders in Rivers State particularly, his home local government – Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and the entire Orashi Region.

I can now understand why Hon. Enebeli Great Charles addresses him as the Ikemba 1, Chukwujindu Osa of E uaga, Nwannee Do N’ Mbw of Igbo Land to the chagrin of those who can’t stand his goodness and love to humanity.

Attesting to what Prof Ugboma has done and achieved in the politics of Rivers a very young and vibrant Youth Mobiliser, Comr. Princewil Azubuike stated, “Ugboma, I celebrate you specially on this auspicious day of your birth anniversary. You are a source of inspiration to younger generation. You’re a political enigma, a celebral phenomenon. Happy Birthday Boss!

To the man who prayed us to prominence, Hon. Ordinance Odinakachi Emeji, “A great man like you deserves a birthday that’s full of joy to recognise all of the good that you do. Wishing you much happiness and all the very best as you celebrate the arrival of a new year in your life. Congratulations sir ”

In recognition of his political prowess, he was appointed into Tonye Cole/Barikor Governorship Campaign Council as the Coordinator of the Western Senatorial Zone of the State

All hail the great trailblazer in the field of medicine, a terror to undemocratic elements, exemplary party loyalist, party promoter and seasoned administrator.

Prof Ugboma and His Love For His People:

From verifiable records, Ugboma sponsors and assists hundreds of families with bags of rice, funds and assorted Christmas presents to celebrate both the Christmas and New year festivities. It is on record that this humanist and philanthropist per excellence, had, before this time influenced the employment of most of our unemployed youths. This forced one Lady Mary Okeke to state, “Yes, indeed Prof. Henry Ugboma is a great and wonderful leader. He also has a heart which is very pure like diamond..May the Good Lord always continue to bless and protect him all the days of his life. Amen”.

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To those who may not have been opportune to know the professional background of Professor Henry Arinze Anthony Ugboma JP, MNIM, a peed into his records will do some good:

B.Sc. (NIG), MBBS (NIG), FWACS, FICS.; the gentleman is an astute professor of Feto-Maternal Medicine at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Science, University of Port Harcourt and an honorary consultant, Feto-Maternal and infectious unit at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Science, University of Port Harcourt.

He is of Feto-maternal medicine and consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Currently, he is the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State.

A Professor of Professors, here is one man who has put in the hard work to be where he is today, with loads of experience in the field of Medicine and hardcore leadership.

The Black-American Rights Activist, politician, and propounder of the Kingian Principle of non-violence, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was very much on point when he asserted that “an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity”.

This is akin to the citation offered by Albert Schweitzer which states that “the purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.” One can safely infer that Prof. Henry Ugboma has in no small means carved a niche for himself as already stated, as he continues to break new grounds and discover opportunities in his services to humanity.

Henry Ugboma has severally been said to have acquired the rare label of a barrel of sound human breeding, having been raised in a dynamic cultural setting with distinct and rigid societal mores, where sound etiquette, deeper sense of brotherherliness and love are practically inculcated as a holistic approach to life and held in high esteem. He is obviously voracious in thoughts and well spelt-out ideas, as he is beautifully decorated with other attributes traceable to excellence, tact, focus, results-driven programmes, among others.

Prof Ugboma and His Appointment as the CMD of UPTH and Some of His Feats:

A renowned academic, Prof. Ugboma is an advocate of the sermon of education. To him, and like every other enlightened Nigerian, education remains the cardinal weapon and chief liberating force for the dismantling of hedges and remains of bifurcation occasioned by primordial feelings of ill-will, ethnocentricism and sectional disharmony. Students in their hundreds, cutting across languages, have continued to benefit from his annual education grant, a strategic project among a litany of others, adopted and explored as a problem-solving technique to foster a renewed sense of hope among young people.

The administration of President Mohammadu Buhari must have been vividly inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s proposition which appears to be Ugboma’s life principle anchorage, that “the sole meaning of life is to serve humanity”, when it certified him a worthy servant and shouldered on him the responsibility to steer the affairs of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), as Chief Medical Director (CMD).

Dr. Paul John reported that before the appointment of Prof. Henry A. A. Ugboma as the Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt (UPTH), he was a senior lecturer and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist with the University and the hospital respectively. On assumption of office he ensured that he worked with the best brains in the hospital in order to ensure that his transformation agenda was successful.

Prior to his emergence, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was almost flat on its back and beaten into a prostrate position; a sympathetic situation which forced health professionals, tourists and victims alike to shake their heads in sorrow: standards were appalling, medical equipment were reprehensibly outdated, research was nonexistent because grants dried up. Indeed, the health facility was critically in shambles and near-moribund state.

His passion for service albeit, keeps him burning the midnight oil, conjuring all manner of paradigms, blueprints and models for an inclusive and globally accepted standard of growth and balanced development for the health institution, and to the pride of all, Ugboma has dominated the health sector in Rivers State and South/South like a colossus, enrooting his vestige in the development of facilities for a holistic overhaul. Suffice to say the UPTH CMD has a typical mooring spectacularly distinct from the obvious penchant of a number of Nigerian public servants who are known to be averse to progressive ideas.

Prof. Ugboma and His Enduring Feats at UPTH:

Ugboma saw himself fitting into the parlance of Dalai Lama: “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, without them, humanity cannot survive”, when in 2019, the UPTH Assisted Conception Unit produced the first baby from the hospital’s In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) programme. The IVF facility was established to assist couples who cannot produce children through the natural process of reproduction. The baby boy with a birth weight of 4.5kg was delivered on January, 2019, by a 34-year old lady who had been married for 10 years without conception.

UPTH under Prof. Ugboma prides in its expertise in the delivery of quality services to clients in Assisted Reproductive Technologies; the first and only of its kind in South /South, Nigeria. This is made possible with the availability of equipment for artificial insemination, In-Vitro-Fertilization, Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and donor cycle – egg and sperm donations. The institution also provides surrogacy and freezing facilities for gametes amidst other top-notch facilities for improved services to Nigerians which make the hospital technologically driven.

On September, 2020, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital recorded yet another milestone with the purchase and successful arrival of a state-of-the-art 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

The MRI is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the psychological processes of the body, using strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients and radio waves. Primary Care Physicians can utilize test to analyze the human body system and perceive how well a patient had reacted to treatment.

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The Ugboma-led UPTH management team has tremendously improved the quality of infrastructure within the institution and has placed a high premium on staff welfare. In 2020, promotion exercises for junior and senior staff were conducted, concluded and implemented. No wonder the positive quantum leap in staff commitment to service delivery.

Similarly, during the pendency of Covid-19 which grew into a global health emergency, UPTH remained in the forefront of the fight to confront it. The molecular laboratory ran thousands of samples from all states within the South/South. Aside expanding the treatment center, a new one was opened to meet the overwhelming demands on the existing facility, given the soaring number of cases recorded on daily basis. The institution’s readiness and commitment in the fight against the virus saw Shell donating testing machines to speed up the process of detecting cases and reducing the soaring number of deaths.

During the period, the hospital successfully delivered two Covid-19 positive ladies of their babies. The first delivery was a Spontaneous Vertex Delivery of a bouncing baby boy while the second was delivered by Elective Caesarian Section (CS) of a bouncing baby girl.

The births were made possible by the combined efforts of Doctors, Nurses, Laboratory Scientists, Hygienists, Paramedics and support staff that deployed globally approved standard expertise, protocols and work ethics to ensure that the women and their babies were alive and kicking.

Ugboma’s discovery of best hands for every given task is based on careful observation and insights with clear consideration for competence and more importantly, without bias or prejudice. His love for humanity surpasses his biggest projects. Not only is he a health professional, but also a leader, instructor, mentor; an accomplished academic, politician of note and seasoned entrepreneur who has successfully established viable economic platforms for people’s aspirations to thrive and for the provision of social safety nets for qualified trainable and employable people at all levels.

His humanitarian ideology rejects blood-politicking and wasteful endeavors as commonly practiced by some overzealous and vicious politicians with inordinate ambitions.

In private and public engagements, the trailblazing Ugboma is stocked with the knowledge that leadership is not only something done to the people but something done with the people and as a result, he gives a thought to the lives of others. Ugboma has transposed himself into an amiable personality of great influence, building legacies and sowing seeds in individual and groups’ lives. A believer in aesthetics, Ugboma displays contagious passion in tackling the concerns of Rivers people and Nigerians in health and health related areas including politics, education, culture and development, scoring many firsts through innovative development schemes.

As a Professor of Feto-Maternal Medcine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Henry Ugboma has published a wide range of articles in widely read local, regional and international Journals some of which include:- Prevalence and Antibiotic Succeptibility of Staphylococus Aureus and other Staphylococal Infections in Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in a Tertiary Hospital in Port Harcourt.

His Research interests span across Obstetrics, Parental Care, Obstetric Delivery, Foetal Medcine, Midwifery, Developmental Biology, Gynecology, Endocriminology and Cryobiology amidst participating in high powered international health conferences around the world where he made stunning presentations to the awe of participants and the pride of the country.

For this accomplished public administrator of global repute, service to humanity has remained his topmost priority, and to the pride of people of goodwill, he has continued to utilize his expertise in health and politics to drive through the stairways of development. That is the bane of morality in public service.

For anyone working with Prof. Ugboma, it is always an amazing experience as he brings energy and language that generates appetite for learning and hard work and transmutes plain conversations into ideas that inspire innovative undertakings.The bond he shares with subordinates goes beyond the spheres of officialdom and counts more.

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian Nationalism in one of his reflective moments opined that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This proposition is true to the life of Ugboma whose commitment to service is for public good.

With the foreknowledge that public office is but a temporary terminal point, Prof. Henry Arinze Ugboma has maintained remarkable decency and sublime integrity in his official endeavors. His trademark and rare humility are virtues every leader should imbibe. His numerous achievements in academics and accomplishments in the political and leadership world have earned him recognition and awards within and outside the shores of Nigeria.

Flesh and blood did not reveal to Albert Schweitzer the very essence of his quote thus: “sometimes our light goes out but is blown into fame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light”

Men and brethren, Rivers people owe deepest appreciation to President Mohammadu Buhari and Rt. Hon. Amaechi, for positioning Ugboma for the good of all. That debt is as exigent as James Allen garnished it when he opined that “no duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks”.

Though unsung, unassuming, foresighted and outstanding leader of Rivers politics, Prof. Henry Ugboma; a philanthropist par excellence stands out as a terror to the kingdom of maladministration and anti-people government headed by Gov. Nyesom Wike and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In explaining this detribalised Nigerian, I highlighted that though Professor Henry Arinze Anthony Ugboma hails from Umu-Awo Ndoni in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, he was actually born in Onitsha in Anambra State to Mr. and Mrs. Ugboma.

He is happily married to the delectable Dr. E. W. Ugboma and they are blessed with five wonderful children.

Happy birthday my brother and friend. I pray God to guide, bless and grant you better and greater years ahead for better services to humanity.


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