By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi
Elder statesman and first Republic Aviation Minister Chief Mbazulike Amechi, on Tuesday in his Maryland Villa, Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State, announced the passing of his wife Iyom Chinelo Priscella Amechi.
A statement on behalf of Mbazulike Amechi Family of Ukpor, signed by Tagbo Amechi, who according to his father had to leave to catch his flight, the family said they are announcing with deep regret the death of Iyom Chinelo Priscella Amechi (Lolo Odiuko).
According to the statement, “She is survived by her husband, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, (Dara Akunwafor) and many children and grandchildren.
The family said that further announcements on the death and burial arrangements will be made later.
However, answering questions from newsmen, Chief Amechi, said his wife, Iyom Chinelo Priscella Amechi, died on Friday 23, July 2020 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi, Anambra State, after a brief illness.
Aged 91, Iyom Amechi, according to Chief Amechi, took ill and was taken to NAUTH, where she was hospitalized for ten days before she gave up.
According to Chief Amechi, his wife was from Umuoji in Idemili before she was married to him, and she studied at Ugwu Oba, Enugu State, and then proceeded to London and Belfast for further studies where she qualified as a nurse.
“She retired as Chief Nursing Officer in the Anambra State Ministry of Health, where she headed the Nursing Department at the then Mpuri General Hospital, Nnewi, which was later handed over to the Federal Government of Nigeria and now, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, NAUTH.”
Asked if his wife played any role for him while fighting for the independence of Nigeria, Chief Amechi said, “As a nationalist in the Zikist Movement, we swore not to marry until Nigeria became independent, so I was one of those who kept to that vow, so for that, I did not marry her until December 1960 after independence, and we only met in 1960 when she returned from London.
“We met and had our courtship about ten months or thereabout, and Bishop Aniogwu weeded us at the Holy Trinity Onitsha, now Basilicas of Holy Trinity Onitsha.”
Chief Amechi described his wife as a very peaceful and caring woman, who never gave him trouble in any way.
“Since my mother died she was a mother wife and friend to me.”
“The family is sad for losing a lovely wife mother and grandmother, in our kindred she was the head of the women. I appreciate the time we spent together, she left good legacies, she will be greatly missed by the entire family.
“I’m happy to marry her because she helped to nurse me. She was the head of the Catholic Women Organization in the church. She also played a prominent role during my nationalist drives,”