By David Desbordes.
The deceased Chief Medical Director of the well known Almond Hospital and Maternity, Achara Layout, Enugu, Chief Dr. Walter Obiekezie Madike, was laid to rest on Friday, October 21st, 2022, at his country home, Umunakwa Nsukwu, Abatete, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He was aged 83 years.
The late medical guru was born on March 18th, 1938, to the family of Chief Onwuzurigbo Okua and Chief Mrs. Onuinyinya Nwanyiemerie Madike, at Nsukwu, Abatete, Anambra State.
He attended the Holy Trinity Primary School, Abatete, from 1945 to 1947, and the CMS Central School, Onitsha, from 1948 to 1952.
Young Walter attended the famous Government College, Umuahia, from 1952 to 1957, as well as the then University College, Ibadan, from 1961 to 1967, coming out with an MBBS on July 5th, 1967. Incidentally, the Nigeria -Biafra war began the next day, July 6th.
Dr. Walter Obiekezie Madike joined Biafra on July 7th, 1967, and worked at the University of Biafra Teaching Hospital from 1967 to 1970.
After the war, in 1973, he joined the Ministry of Health, and was posted to Oji River Leprosy Unit. He was there till July, 1974. From 1974 to 1977, Dr. Madike worked at the Udi General Hospital. There, he was awarded a double promotion, a rare achievement in those days, for his diligence, hard work, and meritorious service, by the then Federal Minister of Health, Alhaji Aminu Kano, and promoted from Senior Medical Officer to Senior Medical Officer 1.
Dr. Walter Madike was transferred to the Udi Health Centre. The then Military Governor of the defunct East Central State, Colonel John Atom Kpera, on a visit to the Udi Health Centre, was so impressed with the good work he was doing, that he awarded Dr. Madike yet another double promotion, from Principal Medical Officer 2 to Principal Medical Officer 1.
In December, 1977, he was then moved to the Ekwulobia General Hospital. Again, the Military Governor, Colonel Atom Kpera, while on another call, saw how he transformed the hospital and, due to his towering achievements there, promoted him to Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Walter Madike worked at the Agbani General Hospital, as the Chief Medical Officer, from 1984 until he retired in 1986, after many years of dedicated and meritorious service to his country, and humanity.
He went on to open his own hospital, Almond Hospital and Maternity, where he continued to render quality medical services to his people till he passed on.
Chief Dr. Madike was a God fearing man. A hard working and excellent surgeon. A generous, kind, selfless, inspiring leader. A philanthropist and father to the poor. He assisted many people, paying school fees, house rents, and money to start trading.
On most occassions, he slashed the amount charged for various types of surgeries for the needy. In most cases he allowed those who could not pay their hospital bills to go home, without paying a dime.
In recognition of his hard work and meritorious services to mankind, Dr. Madike was bestowed with several honours and titles. These include Chinakweze 1 of Abatete, an Ozo title; Okaome 1 of Abatete, bestowed on him by the Igwe of Abatete; Akanagwo Oya 1 of Owa Imezi, by the Igwe of Owa Imezi; Ozoigbondu 1 of Udi Kingdom; Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Body of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association; Night of Excellence Award by the NTA, and many others.
Dr. Madike, a detribalized Nigerian, and a committed Anglican, was happily married, with children.
His lookalike eldest son, Chukwuma Raphael Madike, a UK-based Renewable Technology Engineer, had this to say about his late father: ” ..I learnt so much by simply watching you… You consistently lifted up those around you with a kind word, a funny joke, a compliment, a humble ear, or the very shoes off your feet!… You were the most sincerely altruistic person I have ever known, with no attachment to material things – you would literally give the clothes off your back to whosoever needed it… You were an amazing father to us, and loved us to pieces..I love you, Dad, now and forever.
Truly, late Dr. Walter Obiekezie Madike will be sorely missed.
May his good and gentle soul rest in perfect peace.