Chibudum Nwuche, Adenike Grange: Where are they now?

Each of these individuals once served Nigeria meritoriously in different capacities before they left the scene. It’s however not clear where they could be and what they are doing presently; ELEOJO IDACHABA wonders.

Chibudum Nwuche

Honourable Chibudum Nwuche was former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); a lawyer by training, this tall, handsome and lanky Rivers state indigene, but raised in Enugu state, can best be described as one of the rare Nigerians born with a silver spoon. His major breakthrough in public service came when the people of Ahoada East/Abua Odua Federal Constituency of Rivers state voted for him as their representative for the House of Representatives seat in 1999. Luckily, his colleagues later elected him as deputy speaker of the House on June 4, the same year. While in that capacity, he chaired the Committees on the Whole House, vice-chairman, House Committee on Selection and as vice-chairman, National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. He also led several delegations to various international summits and conferences.

A community worker and grassroots activist, Prince Nwuche played an important role in the passage of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act and also bankrolled the Onshore Offshore Dichotomy bill. He also set up scholarships and grants schemes for indigent students of the state as well as incentives for small/medium scale business men and women in his state. He made efforts to return to NASS, but lost the bid as he lost to Osinakachukwu Ideozu for the Senate seat in 2003.

Since then he has been running from pillar to post in order to gain political relevance. For example, in 2016, he was said to have defected from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in what analysts say was an attempt to gain the attention of Abuja and overshadow Rotimi Amaechi, the perceived leader of the party in the state, but that attempt landed him in the black book of Amaechi who saw the move as a threat.

While he was yet to recover from that shock, he took a swipe at Governor Nyesom Wike for what he called poor handling of security in the state. Reacting to him, the state chairman of PDP, Felix Obua, said, “It is obvious that Prince Nwuche’s statement on security in the state is that of a drowning and an uninformed person; no wonder he continues to jump from pillar to post in search of political visibility after losing relevance as a result of his failure to adequately represent his people at the National Assembly and failed attempt to secure the highly competitive ticket for the Rivers West Senatorial seat in the Senate on the platform of our great party, the PDP.”

Nwuche, though still young, seems not to have recovered from his political shock as every attempt to stage a comeback to political reckoning has not been successful. One wonders where he is presently and what he is doing.

Prof. Adenike Grange

Mama, as she was fondly called while in the cabinet of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as minister of health, was someone whose roles could not be ignored. A professor of Medicine, she became the first female to be appointed in that capacity in the ministry. As a minister, she was particularly noted to have drawn serious attention to the importance of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by calling on the National Assembly to pass the then National Health Bill.

Speaking during one of her outings at a forum on International Health and Development, she said, “There are enough in terms of knowledge initiatives, strategies, tools, drugs and treatment protocols to cure diseases and prolong life, but the reality is that the system designed to bring about these outcomes are inadequate at best or even non-existent. This is a global problem,” she noted.

With a sound background in the discipline and as someone who knew her onions, she was on the way to writing her name in the Guinness Book of Record when however in March 2008, barely less than a year she was appointed, then President Yar’Adua ordered her interrogation and subsequent arrest over the ministry’s unspent fund totalling N300 million in the 2007 budget.

In her defence before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), she said she was misadvised by the directors in the ministry whom she said told her that such funds were usually shared as bonuses for certain categories of staff and other stakeholders. In the event thereafter, she was removed from the cabinet. Commenting on her short stay in the ministry, the Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA) said of her, “Her commitment to duty in the area of care for Nigerian children endeared her to millions of people.”

Shortly after she left the cabinet, Prof Grange was reported to have entered into private medical practice in Ibadan in conjunction with some non-governmental organisations; however, not much has been heard about her since then.

Muhammed Pate

Dr. Muhammed Ali Pate is one former public officer who has not been visible for a long while now. He was the former minister of state for health under the former president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, between 2011 and 2013. His appointment follows the successes he recorded while as the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Unlike other ministers who were either sacked or removed in a cabinet reshuffle, he resigned from the cabinet in order to pick an appointment as a professor in Duke University’s Global Health Institute in the US.

He was and still is a member of several international medical associations and board member of American-based medical institutes. Dr. Pate was appointed to run NPHCDA when the polio epidemic was at its peak in Nigeria just like other countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, a development he fought vehemently.

In June 2009, Dr Pate instigated a policy of engaging respected traditional rulers in the north under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto to help deliver the immunisation programme message along with the development of an effective primary health care system which had failed in the previous decade. This was because many states in the north failed to adopt proactive measures towards solving the pandemic once and for all. This former minister is someone who believes in practising his core profession as against other politicians who, according to analysts, have no other vocation apart from politics.

It is, however, not very clear where he is presently.

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