By Abiodun OBA
A former governor of Anambra, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife 85 years old, is dead.
Chief Nwakaire Ezeife, who announced the passage of the elder statesman on behalf the family, said he died at the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja, on Thursday.
On behalf of the Ezeife Dynasty of Igbo-Ukwu, I wish to announce the promotion to glory of our most distinguished son, Okwadike, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, CON.
“He was a former Federal permanent secretary, the first executive governor of Anambra, and staunch politician.
“More details about the deceased and the arrangements for his state burial will be announced later,” he said.
Mr Christian Ike, the President General of Igbo-Ukwu Community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra said the community is in grief over the death of Ezeife.
Ike said in spite his political, national and international life, Okwadike was a community leader who served Igbo-Ukwu as a president general and cared about the development of the town till his death.
“His death is a huge shock to us, Igbo-Ukwu is mourning because a great man, a father, a community leader and nationalist is gone.
“I spoke with him two weeks ago and he assured me he was getting better, though he was in hospital bed, he took time to ask questions about current events in Igbo-Ukwu and prayed for us.
“We are in pains, but we submit totally to the will of the Almighty,” he said.
‘Okwadike’ as he was fondly called, was born on Nov. 20, 1938.
He served as governor of Anambra from January 1992 to November 1993 during the aborted Third Republic.
President Bola Tinubu has sympathized with the Ezeife family, the people, and the government of Anambra State on the passing of Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, CON, former governor of the state.
Chief Ezeife, Okwadike of Igbo-Ukwu, was governor of Anambra from 1992 to 1993.
President Tinubu, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, recalled the contributions the late Chief Ezeife made in the shaping of public discourse and governance in Nigeria, as well as in laying the foundation for the advancement of his dear state.
The President extolled the towering influence of the former federal permanent secretary in Nigeria’s political landscape as well as his leadership credentials, describing his passing as a painful loss.
While praying for the repose of the soul of the dearly departed, the president encouraged his loved ones to take solace in his indelible legacy.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, Peter Obi and other well-wishers are mourning the death of first civilian Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
Obi in a post on X said he received with sadness and shock the report of the death of Ezeife late Thursday night.
“He was a de-tribalized Nigerian nationalist who remained dedicated to the cause of good governance in Nigeria and contributed immensely to deepening the democratic ideals of our dear nation,” Obi said.
“To me, he was a father figure whose words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement greatly impacted me positively.
“In his death, Nigeria has lost a great soul whose kind heart and wise counsel are needed at this time of our travails as a nation.
“May God who called him home grant him eternal rest, and grant his family, and all of us who mourn him, the fortitude to bear his sad irreplaceable loss.”