Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has described late Prof. Uche Ikonne, the former Abia Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as an “excellent scholar and administrator”.
Ikpeazu said this on Friday during the burial ceremony of the deceased at Agburuike village of Nsulu Community in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area.
Our correspondent reports that late Ikonne died on January 25 after a brief illness at the age of 66.
The governor said that the deceased had lived a life worthy of emulation, adding that he positively impacted on the lives of people that interacted with him while he was alive.
He said: “In scholarly matters, he was an excellent man, as he was a teacher of teachers, in professional matters he was exquisite, in administration he had excellent records and in the church he was committed, and all these are verifiable.”
Ikpeazu said that death was an inevitable end for all mortals and God remains in absolute control of when one’s life journey would come to an end.
He said that “God is all powerful”, therefore regardless of the number of achievements that one had accomplished, one ought to acknowledge God in all affairs of one’s life.
Ikpeazu urged the children of the deceased to keep the legacies of their father alive and project the progressive principles that the deceased lived by while he was alive.
The governor prayed God to console the family of the deceased and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
In a remark, Sen. Theodore Orji and former Abia Governor, said that the deceased was a good friend that was ever willing and ready to lend a helping hand.
“He was a good man to me and I will always cherish the memories we shared as friends and I pray God to accept him into His kingdom and give succour to his family,” Orji said.
In his speech, Chief Asiforo Okere, the State Chairman of PDP, said that the death of Ikonne dealt a devastating blow on the party as it happened few weeks before the 2023 general elections.
Okere said that the party had been consoled by the tributes poured on the deceased by people from all walks of life, adding that all that had been said about the deceased were true.
“This man was a good party man and from all his presentations and interactions in the party, it remains clear that he was the best governor Abia never had,” he said.
In his speech, Mr Simeon Ihemamma, the President of the Umuahia Diocesan Council of Knights of Anglican Communion, said that late Ikonne was a devout Christian and noble knight.
Ihemamma said that the deceased always created time for church activities even with his very busy work schedule and showed dedication in his service to God and humanity.
In a homily titled “Create time for God”, Dr Isaac Nwaobia, the Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Aba of Anglican Communion, said that failure to create time for God often led to disaster.
Nwaobia said that the deceased was “a church man” and was blessed with numerous achievements; which makes it important for the living to create time for God because the blessings that come with serving God were enormous.
He prayed God to comfort the family of the deceased and grant them the grace to face the future.
Chief Okey Ahiwe, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party was conspicuously present and also eulogized the astute characteristics of Prof Uche Ikonne.
Earlier, Dr Chikezie Uche-Ikonne, the first son of the deceased, said that his late father was a trailblazer in the academia and a good family man who effectively discharged his duties.
Uche-Ikonne said that the deceased lived well and left lasting legacies, adding that his footprints had been firmly stamped in the sands of time.
Our correspondent also reports that late Ikonne served as the 7th Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu and was a one time Rector of Abia Poly, Aba.