Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has expressed shock over the demise of the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
Dr Ezeife, Okwadike Igboukwu, passed on at the age of 85 at the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.
Ohanaeze in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, described Ezeife’s death as a rude shock for the Igbo race.
Below is a full text of the statement made available to Ikengaonline:
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has received with a deep shock the passing on of yet another Igbo Titan; a one man riot squad, an erudite scholar and astute bureaucrat, brave and thoughtful dogged fighter, an accomplished politician and former Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, CON (Okwadike Igbo-Ukwu).
“Okwadike was a consistent purveyor of morals, justice and equity. He was a remarkable advocate of progressivism in its purest tradition. When the Moshood Abiola Mandate was truncated, Ezeife risked the military dungeon in the pursuit of justice. A detribalised patriot who warned that unless there is a re-federalisation of Nigeria and fundamental restructuring of the polity, Nigeria will continue to grope in the dark.
“Ezeife was an unwavering and steadfast personality. He was on the side of the masses, the vulnerable and the down trodden.
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Engr Dr Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, MFR; OFR; CFR; FNICE; FNSE; KSC (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) could not withhold his emotions on hearing the passing on of Okwadike. He lamented that the Igbo have been afflicted with a chain of catastrophe within a very short space of time; Prof. George Obiozor, Prof. Joe Irukwu, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Dr. Sylvanus Olisanye Ebigwei and now Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, amongst others. He qualified Ezeife as a quintessential Igbo in all ramifications. He added that Nigeria has lost a rare gem.
“On behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and indeed all the sons and daughters of Igbo land, we send our condolences to the immediate family of Okwadike, the Igbo Ukwu community and the good people of Anambra State.
“While we prepare for a befitting farewell to our illustrious son, we beseech the Almighty to grant the soul of Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife an eternal repose in his bosom.”