Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has announced the death of its Deputy President General, and ex- Biafran soldier, High Chief Joel Kroham.
He died on Saturday, August 27, 2022.
National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, who disclosed this in a press release Tuesday night, on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide said the deceased was aged 74 years.
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor regrets to announce the passing on of a truly committed Igbo chauvinist, erstwhile gallant Biafran soldier, faithful compatriot, harmonizer of interests and community leader, the Deputy President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, High Chief Joel Kroham, at the age of 74.”
Kroham hailed from Upatabo in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He retired from the Rivers State public service in 2014 as a Director of Finance.
The statement read: “Before his retirement, the Government of Rivers State found him worthy for an appointment as a Justice of Peace in 2007; and the entire people of Ekpeye were to confer on him the Unwo Egbeite Ekpeye of Ekpeye Land in 2008. Above all, he was at a point elected the President General of the Uzugbani Ekpeye.”
“Until he passed on, Kroham was at the forefront in the advocacy for a President of Nigeria from the South-East,” the statement said.
It further read: “One of his last public outings was when he discharged an official function as the Special Guest of Honour at the inauguration of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South-South zone which held at the Igoni Grand View Hotel, Airport Road, Port Harcourt on July 22, 2022. Far before the Port Harcourt event, Kroham had demonstrated an extra-ordinary commitment to Igbo nationalism and thus highly devoted to the galvanization of all Igbo interest groups.
“It is on record that Joel Kroham was allergic to the crop of some Igbo quislings in the South-South of Nigeria who have unabashedly betrayed and denied their ancestral roots; their conscience, identity and have sold their umbilical cord for a mess of pottage.
“On the other hand, Kroham never suffered an identity crisis. He volunteered for enlistment into the Biafran Army and returned from the war front with bullet wound. He maintained his Igbo dignity; remained unadulterated, courageous and proud of his origins until his transition.”
Ohanaeze condoled with the members of his immediate family and promised to accord him a befitting burial.