His Holiness, Pope Francis yesterday announced the former Commissioner for Health, Anambra State, Professor Amobi Ilika as a Knight of St Gregory the Great, the highest Papal award/honour in the Catholic Church worldwide for a laity.
Ilika was a Commissioner in ex-Governor Peter Obi’s administration in Anambra State.
The Pope’s message came from the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Right Reverend Hilary Odili Okeke . Bishop Okeke said the investiture would be held this Saturday, 16th of May, 2015 at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral, Nnewi, Anambra State.
According to Bishop Okeke, a Canon lawyer, Pope is bestowing Prof Ilika with the highest award of Knight of St Gregory the Great for his service to humanity and contributions to the Church and society.
It is on record that Professor Ilika is very active with his pro-life campaigns against legalizing abortion and he has been a voice for the unborn children and victims of violence.
Prof Ilika, as a medical doctor, has run a pro-poor and humanitarian services aimed at alleviating human suffering as well as services to the handicapped and physically challenged. He has been Chairman of Board of Trustees of RECDOCT Home, Ozubulu.
As a former Commissioner for Health, Prof Ilika initiated and restored grant in aid to private and missionary health institutions in Anambra state, which was stopped by the military after the war. The robust relationship brought about the rehabilitation of mission hospitals as well as accreditation of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Borrowmew Hospital, Onitsha, Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala, St Joseph’s Adazi and Waterside Onitsha among others.
Similarly, Ilika’s tenure witnessed the extension of health facilities to rural and difficult-to-reach areas like Mmiata Nnam, Osamala etc.
Governor Peter Obi’s administration of which Prof Ilika was a Commissioner for Health established the University Teaching Hospital, Awka at Amaku General Hospital for proper training of doctors, and other health staff as well as provision of high quality and specialised services.
Prof Ilika is among the founding fathers of Anambra College of Medicine , the medical school of Anambra State University, now known as Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University .

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