Posted by News Express | 21 May 2020 | 545 times
By EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE
May15, 2020 marks a great and epochal day in the history of Rivers State of Nigeria, the wealthy oil hub, as she celebrates the 55th birthday anniversary of one of the best gifts God, in his mercy and love, bestowed on the Niger Delta state: the most renowned and outstanding twins ever on earth – Prof Owunari and Hon Justice Biobele Georgewill.
Both have distinguished themselves in public service: Owunari Georgewill is a renowned Professor of Pharmacology while Justice Biobele Georgewill excels in Civil Law discipline. While Owunari graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, his twin brother Biobele studied at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Tricia Marrapodi in this quote, as if with the Georgewills in mind, stated: “Being a twin is like being born with a best friend.” These two great gifts to Nigeria have maintained their relationship as both brothers and best friends but, most importantly, excelling in their
various areas of specialisation. While Chief Sir Justice Biobele is the Justice of the Court of Appeal, Federal Judiciary, Abuja, Owunari is Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. These remarkable twins are global brands and have performed meritoriously in all tasks they
have engaged in.
OWUNARI ABRAHAM GEORGEWILL, KSC, FRSB, LONDON
I must state that I am one of the few privileged Nigerians that can boast of having a wonderful relationship with these outstanding Nigerian twins but, of the two, I am a bit closer to the erudite professor; so this birthday treatise will be more on him than his twin brother who has distinguished himself in the legal profession.
Prof Owunari Georgewill is an erudite scholar, a respected administrator and author of repute, with several publications to his credit. Described as an outstanding scholar whose main vision and mission is to turn around the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT),
Rivers State, to one of the most viable and leading institutions in Africa. I pray that his vision will surely come to pass in a few weeks.
In this regard, Dr Clement Edet, a renowned scholar, introduced Georgewill in a text message he sent to me, as follows: “Prof Georgewill simply makes things work with his direct, innovative and teamwork approach. He is self-driven, impactful, thinks on his feet and has a knack for results. His hallmarks are communication skill, dedication, scholarship, and excellence.”
Throwing more light on the person and personality of Georgewill, Comrade Kenson Ibilabo-Briggs, the author of A Journey into the Creeks, described Georgewill thus: “He is a man humble and kindhearted. An encounter with him will let you know his nature and true character. Very intelligent, yet doesn’t pride in his achievements. Befriends all, his relationship cuts across status, levels and lines. He relates freely with the poor as much as he does with the rich. To him, life is just a passing phase and every opportunity given to you should be used to make living better for others and society. With Prof. at the helm of
affairs in Uniport, there will be a massive turn-around in the varsity’s educational system. He is a man with great vision and passion for the educational advancement of society.”
To explain this ingenious and innovative personality better, my friend whom I graduated with from the University of Calabar, in the late ’80s – a radical philosopher of repute and no-nonsense scholar who threads where the lions are afraid to operate – Prof Andrew Efemini described Owunari in the following terms: “He is a respecter of elders, colleagues, staff and students. He is conscious of the fact that the rights of staff and students must not be abused. We can, therefore, expect a conscious effort by him to negotiate and reach consensus with
stakeholders on the way forward. Prof Georgewill has engaged in self-development within and outside Nigeria, necessary for running a first-class university like Uniport. I am convinced that Uniport under his watch will surely benefit from his well-articulated vision of
a great university. Perhaps, the greatest quality he will bring to the table is his respect for constituted authorities in the country. We can expect special funding and projects to flow into Uniport from his goodwill and understanding and support to the administration of President Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. With Prof Georgewill as vice-chancellor, we should expect full expression of students without brutalisation and victimisation. I expect him to have a good working relationship with the unions on campus.”
The Georgewills, hails from Abonnema, Rivers State. Owunari graduated in 1990 with an upper-division, second-class honours, from the University of Port Harcourt Medical School. He did his housemanship at the UPTH, after which he did his NYSC in Edo State. He began residency training in 1993 and was employed as Lecturer 2 in Pharmacology in 1994. He also obtained a master’s degree in Pharmacology and became a professor of Pharmacology on May 4, 2010. He also holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Master of Science in Pharmacology and a Doctorate of Medicine in Pharmacology and Toxicology, among other qualifications. He is a professor of pharmacology, a researcher and administrator.
SERVICES TO UNIPORT
In 2010, he was appointed Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, NDU.
In 2012, he was elected deputy provost of Uniport Medical School.
In 2013, he was voted into the Governing Council of Uniport as Congregation Representative.
He has published a book, Reasoning in Drug Biology, over 50 original articles in many journals, over 15 abstracts and several research works which took him to many places, including Harvard.
And by virtue of his membership for four years (2013-2017) of the Governing Council of Uniport, playing significant role in the affairs of the university and in addition to having served as member of council, Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of Niger Delta
University (2010-2011), deputy Provost of the College of Health Sciences of Uniport (2012-2015) as well as Associate Dean, Students Affairs (2000-2006) and acting Head of Department of Pharmacology (2006-2008).In all these positions stated above, his
exceptional performance and the results were well documented.
Earlier, he has been trusted to serve in the Finance and General Purpose Committee of Council, Campus Security Committee of council, Appeals Committee of Council, Board of Cordec/University Bottling Company, chairman/member, Senate ad-hoc committees; chairman, board of UDPS; chairman, Post-graduate verification committee; member, Board of the Graduate School.
Others were: Chairman, Departmental Graduate Board; chairman/member of faculty boards; member of the University Senate since 2010; member,
Board of the College of Health Sciences, Uniport and NDU; chairman/member, National University Commission accreditation teams to universities; resource person to Nigerian Senate on Education summit; consultant to Senate Committee on Education; member of panel on Commonwealth scholarship plan of Federal Ministry of Education, etc.
MEMBERSHIP OF INTERNATIONAL BODIES
He is a fellow at Royal Society of Biology, London; Member of International Association of Medical Educators, USA; Member, Society of Pediatric Oncologists, Italy; American Society of Neurochemistry; West African Society of Pharmacology; Nigerian Medical Association;
Specialist Medical Doctors in Academia; Indian Society of Pharmacology;
World Academy of Science; Research-in-Medicine Society; National Cancer
Investigation in UK; World Health Workers without Borders; West African
Society of Toxicology, and fellow, Institute of Industrial Administrators.
He’s also a friend to New York Academy of Medicine and a Justice of Peace.
In 2015, he served as a commissioner, Rivers State Commission of Enquiry. Currently, he is a member of editorial board of Asian Pacific Journal.
REACTION/APPRECIATION OF THE GEORGEWILL TWINS: PROF OWUNARI AND JUSTICE BIOBELE
‘No One Like God.’
We are 55 years today and we can’t stop thanking God for His amazing grace mercies and favours on our lives. God gave us good families and He gave us good friends and associates.
In His time He makes everything beautiful.
Giving is our Passion
We grew up in our village, Abonnema, after we relocated from Lagos due to the death of our father, who was the bread-winner of the family, when we were less than one year old. Life was difficult as growing up kids with no support save for the determined belief of mum and grandma that their little twin sons must be educated no matter what it takes, even if means selling their prized possessions. We were introduced early to the knowledge of God and Christianity by our mum and grandma.
We went through various stages of education, solely depending upon God as we worked hard to make good grades despite the huge challenges that faced us. People gave to us. God granted us favour too. The circumstances of our upbringing made us to realise early in life that many people like us out there need others to give to make them achieve their dreams.
This is the origin of the spirit of giving in our lives that grew from little giving to substantial giving to people, churches organisations, etcetera. We give in obedience to God’s word that instructs us to give and be given back in good measures shaken together and running over. We give out of compassion for the needy. We give out of our desire to make people happy. We give out of our desire to make people smile. We give out of our desire to make people achieve their dreams. We give out of our desire to see organisations such as churches, schools, hospitals and communities meet their needs to provide services and transform
people. We give because we are not interested in primitive accumulation of wealth. We give and God gives more than we give. We give and God blesses us tremendously. The prayers of the receivers availeth much.
We give because it is more blessed to give than to receive. We give when we have little. We give when we have much. Testimonies abound in people and organisations such as schools, hospitals and communities who had and are receiving from us. The joys we get out of giving cannot be quantified.
— Sir Chief Hon Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill JCA and Sir Chief Professor Owunari Abraham Georgewill
Let me formally conclude this treatise by stating that my good friend Professor Owunari Georgewill has served at the highest decision-making organ of the University of Port Harcourt governing council, while his twin brother, Hon Justice Biobele served as a panelist in Commission of Inquiry, Freetown. They have occupied distinctive positions in the
University of Port Harcourt and in the Judiciary (local and international) respectively.
As I join friends, brothers and associates to celebrate this world’s most celebrated twins, I pray God to grant them more fruitful years for better services to humanity.
•Eze, Port Harcourt-based Media Consultant, can be reached on: email@example.com
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