TRIBUTE TO MY SENIOR BROTHER - L. N. OSUAGWU~Medical Lab. Pathologist (UNTH), Chief Medical Laboratory Pathologist (Rtd.), Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha;
My senior brother, Chief Linus Nnanna Osuagwu was a brother and a father. After the passing of our father in 1972, Dede being the first son took over the family responsibility. I can not imagine growing up in the 80s without my senior brother. The passing of our mother in 1982 shook all of us hard especially him.
I remember as a student at Nsukka (UNN), I came to visit him at the Borromeo Hospital where he was working then as a senior Lab technologist, only to find out he was admitted in the hospital. I was with him for a month before returning back to school. He shared to my understanding how important it was to him for me to complete my education. Dede believed in education of any family member that was willing to study. He never imposed his will on any one of us, he was always willing to support what good we chose to do. At this we were very close and alike.
Remember people, Death has been vanquished in Christ (1Cor 15:55-57). God bless our family he left behind, and always bless the memory of my senior brother! He fought a good fight.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Michael Mbawike
Snr Pastor RVC Int.
*************************************************************THE BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF LINUS NNANNA OSUAGWU
Ichie Linus Obiefuna Nnanna Osuagwu was born on the 13th of March, 1949 to the family of the Late Michael Osuagwu Mbawike and Mrs. Anna Grace Ahunna Osuagwu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State. He was the first of the six children that comprises of three boys and three girls.
He attended Christ the King (CKC) Primary School Lagwa. He proceeded to St. Columbus Secondary School, Ama-Imo Ikeduru in Mbano for his secondary education. During his secondary school days, young Linus was a very skillful footballer that earned him the name “DELICATE” among his colleagues.
Afterwards, he proceeded to Emekuku Holy Rosary Hospital as a laboratory technician intern. He was among the few successful ones. As was the practice then, intelligent graduating students were encouraged to proceed to University Teaching Hospital (UNTH) to study for a qualifying examination as a laboratory technologist. He leveraged on that opportunity and proceeded to Enugu. While in the school, by dint of hardwork and commitment he qualified as a laboratory technologist (a pathologist which is his area of specialty). It was due to his performance in school that young Linus Osuagwu was nicknamed “PROF” in the school. May be you are surprised to know how the nick name Prof originated!
After graduation, he was posted to St. Charles Boromeo Hospital Onitsha, Anambra State. He displayed great empathy to patients and colleagues in need and was much loved and respected by all. He was soon elevated to Senior Laboratory Technologist. A position he held until retirement.
In the middle of the Nigerian Civil War, unexpectedly the Biafran army conscripted him and enrolled him eventhough he was very young. It was a day of mourning in the family. The pleading of his mother Anna Grace and the pledging of her wrapper to the soldiers to release her first son could not pacify them. He was taken to there barrack at Afor Umuohiagu in Okpuala.
He was subjected to the normal army recruitment drills. To God be the Glory! The Lieutenant Colonel in-charge of the barrack saw the small boy and gave order that he should not be sent to the war front, but serve with him. Young Linus became his “backman” (armour bearer). That was how he saw himself as someone who was then closer to the corridor of power. He had access to relief materials such as corn mill, garri Gabon, powered milk, okporoko-nnu etc. These relief materials were freely given to vulnerable children in different communities and those in IDP camps.
Due to his nearness to power he was able to favour those known to him, who came for relief materials or the release of their conscripted loved ones. Truely, what the enemy planned for evil became favour to him and his people! Immediately after the war, he started to sell corn mill, garri Gabon etc within and around Lagwa community.
In 1972, while studying at University Teaching Hospital Enugu young and vibrant Linus Osuagwu lost his father, that did not deter him but rather it strengthened him. Having realized that the mantle of leadership had fallen on him and having a wise mother, he weathered the storms.
In the year 1975, he got married to Ezinne Anne Osuagwu (nee Onunaku) from Ulakwu, Enyiogwugwu all in Aboh Mbaise. His marriage was blessed with 7 children, later sons in-laws, daughters in-laws and many grandchildren were added. He was a simple, humble and peaceful man. He cared for his family, siblings, children and others. We are grateful for his life and the length of his days after several tough health trials.
On his retirement from St. Charles Boromeo Hospital in 1983, he established his own laboratory outfit called LINCO MEDICAL CENTRE where he was working until death.
He was a devout catholic throughout his life time. A strong member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Parish Nkpor. He was recognized as Nnadiebube of the parish on the 18th December, 2018 due to his dedication, commitment and passion. As a Christian, Ezediebube Linus Osuagwu’s main influence was Jesus Christ and the gospel which were his life's guiding light and even beyond to social, family and public circles. He was honoured by his community as “Ichie Nke Mbu Nke Ndi Umuabazu” for his contribution to the progress of the community on the 4th day of April, 2010.
On the 3rd of January 2024, he was called home. As the book of Ecclesiates 8:8 put it, no man has power to retain his spirit when death calls. May the Holy Spirit help his wife, children, siblings and all his loved ones to bear his absence with fortitude in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Dad, Goodbye till we meet to part no more.
Signed by the Family
___________________A TRIBUTE TO A PEACEFUL BROTHER IN-LAW
It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I write to commiserate with the entire family over the death of my brother in-law.
On the 28th of December, 2023 when I saw you with my wife in the hospital, little did I know that it would be our last meeting. Before we left the hospital my wife presented a gift to you after acceptance you blessed her, and tapped on her chest and put two hands together for her to see, then you smiled, that was the last encounter between you and the last born.
A brother in-law, Ichie Linus Osuagwu, I cannot forget in a hurry the warm reception accorded to me and a brother that came with me the first day I visited you. I told you my intention after introducing myself. The words of encouragement and your sincere acceptance of me in the family cannot be forgotten.
A peaceful man, a loving brother in-law and a caring father, you are such an in-law that every reasonable person would desire to have. You are not tired in blessing people close to you.
Your guidance and nurturing shaped your siblings, your children and those around you with confidence and courage to navigate the complexities of life with resilience, determination and healthy appetite for success. A virtue you imbibed or learnt after weathering the storm of life and emerged victorious, especially after the sudden death of your mother Anna Grace. God in his infinite mercies strengthened you to oversee the upbringing of your siblings for which my beloved wife was one of the beneficiaries.
It is unfortunate that you had to leave us when we needed you most. Today your mortal body will be committed to the mother earth. We take solace because you dedicated your life to Christ therefore, needed not fear facing your Creator, you will enter into the fellowship with God for all eternity, for you are absent from the body and present with the Lord 2nd Cor. 5:8-9.
Your good deeds will always be remembered. May your gentle soul rest in peace.
Chief G. C. Nwimo
(Chimerem Eze I of Lagwa)