Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, has expressed grief over the demise of the late former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
This is as a member of Ohanaeze Presidential Advisory Council and the Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in 2023, Professor Greg Ibe, described Ezeife’s death as a monumental loss to the Igbo nation.
Otti in a statement by his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, expressed sadness over the “sudden demise of the former Governor of Old Anambra State and renowned Igbo Leader, His Excellency, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife (Okwadike Igboukwu)” who passed on on Thursday.
The statement said Governor Otti regrets that the highly respected Igbo leader and statesman bowed out at a trying time in the history of Ndi Igbo and Nigeria, when his statesmanly guidance, support and stewardship were needed most, describing him as a man of courage and strong conviction whose services to Ndi Igbo in particular and the Nigerian state in general will be greatly missed.
“I’m saddened by the unfortunate news of the demise of our respected leader and statesman, His Excellency, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife (CON). The fact that Okwadike bowed out at a trying time in the history of Ndi Igbo in particular and Nigeria in general when his statesmanly guidance, support and stewardship were most needed makes it more painful and devastating.
“As a man of courage and strong conviction, he ensured that his voice was loudly heard at all times on subject matters that bothered on justice and good governance and stood firmly on the side of truth till the end.
“As difficult as it would be to fill the vacuum his death has created, I would urge all those who loved, cherished and supported him and his ideals while he lived, and who desire a better Igbo nation and Nigeria to draw inspiration from his exemplary conduct which helped immensely in deepening our democracy, strengthening the Rule of Law and opening the frontiers of opportunities associated with good governance” the statement concludes.”
Otti condoled with the Ezeife Dynasty of Igbo-Ukwu, the Government and people of Anambra State and the entire nation over the death of the statesman, and prayed that God would grant his soul eternal repose in his bosom.
In a separate statement by his Media Aide, Rev Sleek Ogwo, Professor Ibe also condoled with the Governor of Anambra State Prof Chukwuma Soludo, the bereaved family and the people of Anambra State over the exit of the late elder statesman.
Professor Ibe described Ezeife’s death as “an unfortunate epilogue to a year filled with many tragedies.”
The statement made available to Ikengaonline read: “I received the sad news of the transition of Nnamukwu Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife with pain and distraught. This is because of the role Nnamukwu has been playing in the advancement of the cause of our region.
“My frustration is further heightened by the fact that his death signifies an unfortunate epilogue to a year filled with many tragedies, in which the ground welcomed such elder statesmen as Prof Joe Irukwu, Prof George Obiozor, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi and now Okwadike Ezeife.”
While commiserating with the government and people of Anambra state, the Ezeife Dynasty of Igbo-Ukwu and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof Ibe also prayed God to grant the elder statesman eternal repose in his kingdom.
The death of former governor Ezeife was announced on Friday through a press statement issued by Chief Rob Ezeife on behalf of the Ezeife Dynasty of Igbo-Ukwu.
According to the statement, the former governor died at the Federal Medical Centre Abuja on Thursday at the age of 85 years.