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Otti, Kalu, Abaribe mourn death of Ohanaeze chieftain, Joe Irukwu

Abians have expressed their sorrow over the passing of Prof. Joseph Ogbonnaya Irukwu, SAN, a former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.


Notable individuals, including the governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, the former governor of the State and Senator representing Abia North Senatorial zone, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Sen. Enyi Abaribe of Abia South Senatorial District, have all received the news of the former Ohanaeze leader’s death with regret and sadness.


The late Prof. Irukwu, a great son of Item Okpi in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, passed away at the age of 89, as announced by his son, Pastor Agu Irukwu.


Governor Otti reflected on the significant contributions made by Prof. Irukwu in the insurance sector, particularly as the pioneer Managing Director of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation and founder of African Development Insurance Company.


He pledged that Abia State, alongside the other South East states and the family of the late insurance icon, would collaborate to ensure a befitting burial for him.


Former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, who represents Abia North Senatorial zone, acknowledged the exemplary service rendered by the late erudite scholar to Nigeria and the Igbo people in various capacities.


He emphasized that Prof. Irukwu’s contributions to the socio-political and economic development of the Igbo and Nigeria as a whole would be remembered.


Kalu urged the Irukwu family to carry on their late patriarch’s good deeds, stating, “The deceased was a notable figure in Nigeria, having served meritoriously in various positions in all spheres of life. He was a patriotic and selfless statesman with a passion for a united Nigeria and left behind a good legacy.”


Former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, described the death of Sir Joe Ogbonnaya Irukwu as “sad and weakening” for the Igbo community.


He acknowledged Irukwu’s distinguished leadership and expertise as an erudite scholar, consummate professional, and globally acclaimed insurance guru during his tenure as the President General of Ohanaeze. Abaribe lamented that his passing, which occurred shortly after the death of the immediate past President of Ohanaeze, Prof. George Obiozor, further diminished the ranks of committed Igbo elders in the struggle to secure the rightful place of their people in the Nigerian project.


Despite Irukwu’s passing at the relatively ripe age of 89, Abaribe urged the Igbo community to persevere and remain focused on pursuing what is right for their people as a fitting memorial for the departed soul.


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