Sir Michael Anwuri…exit of a rare gem
Sir Michael Eleonu Anwuri was born on October 24, 1954 into the family of the late Pa Marcus Eleonu Anwuri and the late Madam Grace Okwulogwo Eleonu Anwuri of Mgbuela Rundele, Emohua Local Council of Rivers State. He was fondly called and known as ‘Chai’ by relatives. He died on June 3, 2020 at the age of 65.
He attended State Primary School, Ndele. He proceeded to County Grammar School, Ikwerre/ Etche in 1967, for his secondary education, where he finished in 1972, with a Division 1, with aggregate 8 result. The best result in his class set, with an outstanding performance in Mathematics. He was an all-rounder, as he excelled in both the Arts and Science subjects.
He worked briefly at the Government Press, Port Harcourt before he gained admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, Yaba in 1973 to study Mathematics / Computer Science. He graduated with a Second Class (Upper Division) in 1977, and was posted to Borno State for the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme.
His primary assignment was at Government Secondary School, Biu, where he taught Mathematics and also served as the ‘Games Master’. On completion of NYSC, he was employed as an Assistant Lecturer at the Rivers State School of Basic Studies (SBS), Rumuola between 1978 – 1979. He went back to UNILAG to undertake an MBA programme in 1979, and on completion in 1980, he returned to SBS. He later got a job at International Merchant Bank (IMB), Port Harcourt, in 1981, though his employment there was a short one as he moved to NAL Merchant Bank Limited Lagos. He was at NAL for 10 years before he moved to Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), where he rose to the position of General Manager/ Ag MD/ CEO, in 1997. In 1998, he joined Union Merchant Bank, a subsidiary of Union Bank of Nigeria, from which he retired in 2006.
On retirement, he became a financial consultant with his company, Brace Concepts Ltd. and later co-founded and managed Pillargate Bureau de Change with his friend, Emmanuel Adun.
Anwuri was a devout Christian and a member of the Anglican Communion. He was an active member of St John’s Anglican Church, Ndele, his home parish. In Lagos, he was a member of the Anglican Church of Ascension (ACA), Opebi, where he worshiped with his family since 1985, and was a member of the Parish Council of the Church for some years. He was a member of the Christian Companion Society of ACA, Opebi, from the inception of the society until his death, and had served as the Financial Secretary of the society for some years.
Upon relocating from Lagos to Port Harcourt, he joined the Anglican Church of Ascension, Omuohia, Igwuruta, Ikwerre Local Council and became a very active member of the church. In 2004, he was made a Knight of Saint Christopher of the Ikwerre Diocese in recognition of his contributions to the work of God.
On retirement, he began to show a keen interest and support for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in his state – Rivers State. He attended meetings of the Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders in Port Harcourt, even when he was still living in Lagos.
In recognition of his support, Governor, Nyesom Wike appointed him to his cabinet as the Commissioner of Power in December 2015, and he held the position till 2017. During his tenure he ensured that electricity was restored to Emohua, a feat that had eluded the area for some time.
In 2016, Anwuri was made a Justice of Peace (JP) in recognition of his dedication to duty and his contribution to the peace and growth of the State.
Anwuri met the love of his life, Adesuwa Anwuri (nee Ukponmwan) while at the University of Lagos in 1976. They got married on May 2, 1981. The union is blessed with three children and four grandchildren. He took great concern and interest in the upbringing and education of his children Ovy, Omas and Akachi, making great sacrifices to give them the best education possible, and doing his best to provide them early exposure to the world outside their immediate vicinity through books and travel.
He was a loving and dependable husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.He belonged to many sports clubs over the years. Among these are: Union Bank Sports Club Surulere Lagos, Agip Sports Club Port Harcourt, Ikeja Country Club and Ikoyi Club 1938. He was a staunch supporter of Manchester United Football Club, and was well known for his unbridled enthusiasm and in-depth commentary when it was football season or his club was playing.
He was a member of the Ogbakor Ikwerre Organisation Lagos, and served as the organisation’s chairman for some years. He received invites to the Ogbakor Ikwerre Convention in the U.S.A, a couple times to deliver a key note address, and he gladly accepted and honoured such invitations. He was a pillar of support for many family members and friends, and he will be greatly missed by many whose lives he touched over the years. He is survived by wife: Dr. Adesuwa Anwuri, children and grandchildren.