By Emmanuel Udom
Chief Edwin Achum was a philanthropist, respected community leader and accomplished public servant from Achalla in Awka North Local government Area of Anambra state, South-East Nigeria.
His demise on Friday, 7th November in Lagos has thrown his entire family and community in Anambra state into serious grief.
Although, his demise easily pass as celebration of life, due to the fact that he died as an accomplished man and at a ripe old age of 77, the entire kingdom of Achalla cannot but grief copiously over the demise of their mentor; a man who has supported many households, and indeed the entire community.
Born in Achalla in March 15, 1943, Chief Achum was educated at the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociologist and Anthropologist.
He distinguished himself and served the country in various capacity at the Nigeria Customs Service, where he retired as a Comptroller, which is the number four position in the rank and file of the Nigeria Custom service..
In a country ravaged by corruption, what distinguished Chief Edwin was his uncommon discipline and incorruptibility which endeared him to many, including the current Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who recently paid glowing tribute to him, describing him as “known for honesty, dedication, and playing according to the rules”.
President Buhari further recognized Chief Achum as an exemplary philanthropist and great contributor to Local Government structure in Anambra State.
In a statement signed on behalf of President Buhari by his Senior Special Assistant on media, Mr Femi Adesina “Chief Achum was a humanitarian and devoted community leader.
It is on record that he offered his residential building as secretariat for Awka North Local Government Area, and contributed greatly to the growth and development of Achalla, his hometown, and was made life patron of the Lagos branch of Achalla Improvement Union”
There is no doubt that that Chief Edwin’s name will be remembered for his great contribution to the country, his state, Anambra, and his community in Achalla.
His contribution and improvement of local government structures in his state- Anambra is very well celebrated.
Also worthy of note is the fact that he helped encouraged and enrolled many young men into the Nigeria Customs service, some of whom are now senior officers. This is an act that portrays true leadership and service to humanity.
The departed was additionally a dutiful Christian and parishioner at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Ladipo, Oshiodi, Lagos, south-west Nigeria, where he was both member and patron of various societies among which include Catholic Men Organisation of Nigeria (CMO), ST Anthony of Padua, Divine Mercy, amongst others.