Dr Batos Nwadike, who voluntarily resigned his position as Special Adviser (Political) to the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has paid glowing tribute to a former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Dr Patrick Acholonu who transited and was laid to rest in his………Orlu Gedegwum residence recently.

Nwadike who, in a statement he personally signed, traced his long standing relationship with the late scion of Igwe Acholonu Royal Dynasty of Orlu Gedegwum to 1987 when they met at the Orlu Urban home of High Chef Reuben Okoro, described late Acholonu, as a thorough bred gentleman, seasoned politician and trail blazer, who was passionately committed to the socio-political and human capital development of Orlu zone and Imo State at large.

Dr Nwadike, enumerated later Dr Patrick Acholonu’s purposeful political activities that culminated in his becoming the Deputy Governor of Imo State, under Governor Evan Enwerem and later, Chairman of ADAPALM, where he distinguished himself by transforming and repositioning the state owned company for the good of Imo people”

The release reads in part, “Dr. Douglas B.C Acholonu popular called Action in his hey days in politics, was a scion of the Igwe Acholonu royal dynasty of Orlu( Gedegwum). The Orlu community is part and parcel of the Isu clan of the larger Igbo nation. 

I started meeting Dr. Acholonu in 1987. Firstly, we met at a steering committee meeting in the Orlu urban home of High Chief Reuben Okoro. It was a meeting to aggregate ourselves into Liberal Convention( one of the many associations) planning to form political parties in the then unfolding democratic order announced by the military junta of Ibrahim Babangida. No sooner than we met and exchanged pleasantries and addresses, we gelled. It was evident to both of us that our mission as patriotic and committed younger men was to transform our environment and people.

Action as the sobriquet tells, was angling, to run as Governor of Imo State. I, Dr. Batos Nwadike was eyeing to contest as Chairman of the then Nkwerre/ Isu Local Government Area. It turned out that in 1991, Action was elected Deputy Governor under the National Republican Convention on the same ticket with Chief Evans Enwerem, who was Governorship candidate and later Governor. The duo as civilian Chief Executives of Imo State stayed on the saddle for like a year and seven months before the military under General Abacha struck again. It was a remarkable administration with Action as the poster boy.

With the return of civilian rule in 1999, Dr. Douglas B.C Acholonu tried to be elected into the House of Representatives but lost the election by whiskers on the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party( PDP). Since then, the man had remained out of the aspiration for elective offices. He continued his life as the trail blazer for any Orlu man to be elected into the gubernatorial office of Imo State. At one point when his governor travelled abroad, he became the acting governor of Imo State. That was the first taste of an Orlu son/ daughter in the office of Governor of Imo State.

A trail blazer!

At the home front, Action became an elder statesman early in Imo State politics. He was respected and revered due to a combination of achievements. At another point in the administration of Chief Achike Udenwa, he was the chairman of ADAPALM( palm oil plantation) in Ohaji/ Egbema local council area. Dr. Acholonu distinguished himself in that assignment. Later, in 2006, at this writer’s prompting, both of us with other compatriots like Dr. Richard Agbarakwe, Rt. Hon. Okey Dike, Prof Anwuzie, Prof Ojike et all founded the Isu Nation Convention( a clan group) to promote, defend and coordinate the ideals and yearnings of our people living in four local governments of Imo state namely: Orlu, Nwangele, Nkwerre, Isu and Njaba. He was Chairman of the group and later grand patron. 

An excellent community and church leader. A kind and forgiving brother of brothers. A teacher of sorts. Always narrating histories and events and putting it to contemporary times to drive home his point. Royal and smart in outlook and character. Husband of late Professor Catherine Acholonu and father of like four enviable children in high flown jobs like UNESCO. Dr. Douglas Acholonu also did not loose sight and touch with his ancestry and traditions and culture as a palace boy. We shall surely miss him as he goes to his maker The Almighty God on 21st July 2023”.