Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has announced the death of his mother, Mrs. Bessie Ikpeazu (Nee Nwagwu). She died after a brief illness in the early hours of Sunday, November 29 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu. She was 87. Madam Bessie was a career nurse and midwife.
A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu, reads:
Born on May 27, 1928 to the family of Nwagwu Anaba of Umuafor Village in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, Madam Bessie lost her father in 1944 when she was 16. But her mother took the decision to send her to school the next year by which time she was already 17.
She obtained her primary education at the Adventist Primary School, Aba and later attended School of Nursing, Adventist Hospital, Ile Ife and graduated in 1959. In 1975, she went back to further her education at the School of Midwifery, Methodist Hospital, Amachara Umuahia.
Madam Bessie got married to late Mr. Ishmael Uleanya Ikpeazu of Umuobiakwa Village, also in Obingwa in December, 1961 and this union was blessed with three children; Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu ( Governor of Abia State),Mrs. Ocheze Edith Ugboaja and Barrister Iheanyichukwu Ugonna Ikpeazu.
As a Nurse, she worked at Ahoada County Hospital, Ahoada Rivers State; Okpuala Ngwa General Hospital and Nigerian Christian Hospital, Onicha Ngwa in Aba where she served as the matron until she retired in 1994. During this period, she also served as the Nursing Supervisor for the Motherless Babies Home, Adventist Hospital, Aba.
Madam Bessie as an entrepreneur was the founded Ulari Maternity Home/Clinic Umuobiakwa, a clinic where she saved many lives for no charge and delivered thousands of babies for little or no charge.
A community leader, social mobiliser and deaconess of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Madam Bessie also served as the leader of the Women’s Ministry of the church.