NAUTH CMD, Prof Ugboaja conferred with “Ochinanwata Nnewi”,as Igwe marks 60yrs on throne, 98yrs birthday

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, Professor Joseph Ugboaja has been conferred with the traditional chieftaincy title of “Ochinanwata Nnewi” (a young leader in Nnewi ) by the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Dr Kenneth Orizu III during the Igwe’s 2023 Ofala festival to mark his 60 years as a monarch and 98 birthday.

The event attracted dignitaries within and outside the industrial community. In attendance were the members of the Igwe-in-Council in their colourful regalia; the Obis; many illustrious sons and daughters of Nnewi community; former Governor of Enugu State, Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; many top politicians; business gurus; captains of industry; government officials; professional groups, and indeed people from all walks of life.

In the sequence of the event, members of the Igwe-in-Council arrived early and seated at the podium while guests from all corners had almost filled the entire pavilion waiting for the emergence of the Igwe. Shortly, the Igwe emerged from his inner Chambers with the roaring cheers of Igwee! Igweee! Igweeee!

The monarch was received by his cabinet Chiefs and his arrival acknowledged by members of the public who had been anxiously waiting to see the monarch adjudged to be the longest serving King in Africa.

After receiving some guests at that segment, the Igwe retired to his Chambers and reappeared when the event gathered momentum.

There were about twenty six dignitaries to be awarded various chieftaincy titles by the Igwe who had now seated on his throne in his full regalia meant for the Ofala.

Many awardees had arrived and got seated at a designated place. The arrival of Prof Ugboaja with his management team, friends and well wishers with the “Igba” traditional music troupe electrified the arena. The CMD with those who accompanied him danced straight to the monarch where he paid obeisance to the Igwe, tapping further blessings with few others in his company.

With the chieftaincy conferment on Prof Joseph Ugboaja as “Ochinanwata Nnewi”, he is now a member of the prestigious body of titled chiefs of Nnewi community.

According to Igwe Orizu, Prof Ugboaja was conferred the Ochinanwata title in recognition of his numerous contributions to the development of NAUTH especially his speedy and quality movement of the health institution to the permanent site.

Reacting to the honour, Prof Ugboaja said that the

investiture demanded more work and promised that he would not relent in completely achieving the agenda he had set for NAUTH to be one of the best in the health sector.

He expressed gratitude to Igwe Nnewi whom he called father and his entire cabinet members for the honour done him and promised not to disappoint them.

Earlier, the Master of Ceremony (MC), Barrister Ben Chuks Nwosu had delivered a very brief citation on Prof Ugboaja, and said: “The Chief Medical Director of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State had engineered a phenomenal infrastructural and human capital development of the hospital, rare in kind scope and complexity using a combination of transformational, visionary and didactic leadership skills.

“He is the son of the soil of Ufuma in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

“Prof Ugboaja is a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician and Administrator per excellence.

“The CMD’s trajectory in hospital administration started in 2013 when he was appointed the Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital.

“Being a man who never allows any opportunity to contribute to the growth of the system slip off his hands, he was able to give a good account of himself such that in the year 2017,he was duly elected seemingly as a reward for a previous job well done and subsequently reappointed the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital in 2019 for a final term of two years.

“His contributions to the hospital while he was the CMAC earned him the Acting Chief Medical Director.

“Having discharged his duties creditably as the Ag. CMD, excelled at the interview for the assessment of would-be CMDs, Prof. Ugboaja was subsequently appointed as the substantive CMD of the hospital.

“As the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof Ugboaja defined a new vision for the hospital which is “To rank among the top five hospitals in Nigeria and ultimately become the best in Nigeria.

“The giant and bold strides of the CMD in developing the permanent site led to the commissioning of the permanent site on July 19, 2023 by the then President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari who subsequently decorated him with the National honour of Officer of Order of Niger (OON) in recognition of his sterling contributions to Nigerian health sector and national development in general.

“In recognition of Prof Ugboaja’s visionary and transformational leadership style which has greatly transformed NAUTH and the healthcare delivery system in Anambra State, he was given numerous awards by many organizations.

“These included NMA Anambra State merit award; AMLSN Anambra State merit award of excellence in leadership, MDCAN NAUTH award for visionary leadership; NANN and M Anambra State Human resource award; Sweet home award for transformational leadership; Quality leadership award by Advocates for Good Governance in Nigeria, among others just to mention a few.

“Today, Prof Ugboaja is honoured by Igwe Nnewi and his cabinet members.”

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