The Abia State PDP Governorship Candidate in the 2023 general elections, Chief Okey Ahiwe, has expressed sadness over the demise of Insurance colossus and former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor Joe Ogbonnaya Irukwu, OON, SAN.
Reacting to the sad news, Chief Ahiwe, a former member of the National Peace and Reconciliation Committee of Ohaneze Ndigbo, said that Professor Irukwu’s death came at a remarkably challenging period for Abia State, Ndigbo and Nigeria at large, when the stabilizing interventions of his fatherly advice on sensitive socio-political issues were most sought after.
“As the first democratically elected President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Professor Joe Irukwu contributed immensely to the establishment of functional and sustainable administrative structures of Ohaneze Ndigbo, engendering organic unity within the Organization and strengthening it to face the daunting challenges of promoting and protecting Igbo national interests. Many years after he served out his tenure as President-General, he never retired from serving the Igbo Nation and Nigeria in several other capacities.”
Chief Ahiwe further stated that “At a time when the culture of insurance came across to a critical mass of the Nigerian population as an abstract phenomenon or exclusive indulgence of the elite, Professor Irukwu staked his reputation to play fundamental roles in laying solid foundations for the future of Nigeria’s Insurance sub-sector, both as a resourceful academic, pioneer CEO of Nigeria Re-Insurance Corporation and Chairman of African Development Insurance Company Limited. In the context of economic history, Joe Irukwu was the ‘Omenuko’ of Nigeria’s Insurance industry.”
Chief Ahiwe while asking Nigerian youths to emulate the exemplary footprints of the departed elder statesman, conveyed his deepest condolences to Professor Irukwu’s family as well as the good people of Item in Abia State, his home town, and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.
Victor Nwokocha, ANIPR
Media Adviser to Chief Okey Ahiwe
July 11, 2023