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Remembering Sir Peter Maurice Ogon, The Doctors Doctor By Dorncklaimz Enamhe

Late Dr. Peter Maurice Ogon
                                                              
Growing up back in the days in Mary Knoll College Ogoja, we always looked forward to Dr PM Ogon chairman board of Governors addressing us, either on special occasions or when they were disturbances on campus (remembering him driving in with his station wagon white 504)

Back then, all Parents wanted you to study was Medicine. They all wanted us to be like Dr Ogon. Mary Knoll had a clinic  in school then, that could sort out all our medical needs but if your condition was so  bad or you have orchestrated it to look so bad, then you will be referred to the General Hospital
So you will have to join the ‘Mary Mary’ bus to the hospital to face the Indian doctors (who will hear you but you can’t hear them or Dr PM Ogon who will quiz and disarm you until you may confess you actually came to see Mt Carmel girls in the hospital. Dr Ogon could just talk with you and you will get well immediately, he was a master psychologist.
Dr PM Ogon was a perfect gentleman and award winning smart and highly cerebral member of the first batch of Mary Knoll graduating class of 1957 with  the likes Prof KM Ogon-Eta, HE Dr MO Ofoboche, His Grace Archbishop Joseph Edra Ukpo to mention a few
It could be recalled that he was a prefect (a very rare feat to achieve then, not with those Irish priests)
Dr Peter Ogon was born on the 28th of February, 1938 at Idum, Mbube Ogoja Local Government Area and schooled at St Columba School Idum Mbube between 1944 -1950
Though he lost his father at age 3 he was extremely brilliant and was determined to further his education.

So backed by a willing mother, he proceeded to St Patrick primary school Kakwagom Boki between January 1st 1951 and December 31st 1951 where he obtained his First School leaving certificate FSLC with Distinction.
Dr Ogon after leaving MkC Ogoja in 1957 with Division 1 proceeded for his Higher school education at St Patrick College (SPC) Calabar where he obtained his HSc in 1959.

He then returned back to Ogoja and was retained to teach by his Alma Mater, MKC Ogoja between 1960 and 1962.

After which he proceeded to University of Modena Italy between October 1962 and October 1965.

He then completed his medical studies in University of Boloque Italy between 1965 -1967.
Having graduated as a medical Doctor from one of the best colleges in Europe with flying colors in 1968, he proceeded to United States of America, to do his specialty.
He started his post graduate education at St Rapheal Hospital Connecticut USA from June 1968 – june 1969 for his housemanship.

Remembering home and the challenges children were going through, even with his own humble experience as a child, he decided to specialize in pediatrics taking cognizance of the pictures of children he was seeing in the Nigerian/Biafran war.

Between 1969 and 1970 he was with Hartford Hospital Hartford Connecticut.
Between Jan 1970 and July 1972 he had obtained a Post Graduate Diploma of American Academy of Pediatrics.

He worked briefly at the New York City health department of Physician between 1972 and 1973.

When we met in New Jersey USA a few years ago at the Annual Mbube conference and I asked him why he didn’t stay back in the US where medical practice would have been more rewarding, he explained thus: “I was offered a US Passport with all the privileges in America but I felt a strong need to go back home and serve my people and that’s what I did.”

And by 1974 the classy ,handsome, brilliant and super dressed young Dr Peter Ogon was back in the Cross River State where his services in the teaching Service was merged with that of the civil service and he was subsequently posted to General Hospital Ogoja as a consultant.
I want you to imagine it yourself as you are reading; New York in 1974 and Ogoja in 1974 (no one will trade New York for Ogoja) except him.

Dr Ogon remains an Ogoja hero.                 
He motivated so many to read medicine.
He remains one of Ogoja’s finest.

He stayed in Ogoja and transformed the hospital from a cottage hospital to a group General Hospital.

Dr PM Ogon served diligently and rose to the rank of Chief Medical Officer of the state
The high point of his civil service career was on the 29th of September, 1987 when he was appointed Permanent Secretary by Navy Capt Ibim Princewill the then Military Governor of the state.

Politically Dr PM Ogon was the returning officer who announced the senatorial elections in 1979 between Dr Joseph Wayas of NPN and Dr MT Mbu of NPP in which Senator Wayas won and subsequently became Senate President.
By this singular role and being the captain of the Ogoja Tennis Club where the leadership will always stop over to have a game of tennis he was very influential in the society but he turned down all offers in politics and remained a Professional Doctor for the people.

On retirement, he opened his own private clinic and continued to serve humanity as a people’s doctor, a community leader and knight of St John International.

As you lay down motionless this night waiting to be buried later today, We begin to imagine how many lives you served and saved and why God in his wisdom decided to call you now when the world needs you most.

You were a good man and a wonderful father to all of us.

You lived a good life.

You will remain our Hero.

Dr PM Ogon will be remembered as perhaps one of the most visionary and undoubtedly as one of Cross River’s Most Respected Statesmen in the medical profession. He was the Doctors Doctor.

A mentor to a million and one Doctors at home and abroad. He was happily married with children and grandchildren.

We join family and friends to say Adieu Dr 
Good Night Doctor Ogon

*Dr. Dorncklaimz Enamhe writes from Gakem Bekwarrra, Cross River State.
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