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‘An icon, our father is gone,’ Ozigbo mourns Ezeife

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Mr. Valentine Ozigbo and his wife when they paid the former Anambra governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a condolence visit in 2022.

In a profound loss to the nation, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Executive Governor of Anambra State, passed away on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja, at the age of 87.

Chief Rob Nwakaire Ezeife, in a statement on behalf of the Ezeife Dynasty, announced the passing of Dr. Ezeife, saying, “this sad event took place yesterday at 6pm.”

He described Dr. Ezeife as “our most distinguished son” and provided details of his influential career, including his time as a former presidential aspirant.

Valentine Ozigbo, a Nigerian business leader and 2021 Anambra Gubernatorial Candidate, in deep sorrow and respect, joined the Ezeife Dynasty and the people of Igbo-Ukwu in mourning the loss of whom he described as “a father and great icon”.

“With profound respect and a heart full of memories, I join countless others to mourn the loss of a great icon, Okwadike Ndigbo, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife.

Mr. Valentine Ozigbo and his wife when they paid the former Anambra governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a condolence visit in 2022.

“His transition to glory leaves an irreplaceable void not only in our lives but in the annals of Nigerian history,” Ozigbo wrote in a press statement personally signed by him on Friday, December 15, 2023.

“Dr. Ezeife, a man of immense stature and wisdom, was more than just a political leader or a public figure to me; he was a father.

“His generosity knew no bounds, his kindness touched innumerable lives, and his wise counsel guided many through turbulent times.

“From his distinguished career as an academic at Havard University to his tenure in public service as a Federal Permanent Secretary to his impactful tenure as the first Executive Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Ezeife was a beacon of integrity, dedication, and visionary leadership.

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“His role as a Political Adviser to the President and a Presidential Aspirant was marked by his unwavering commitment to the ideals of democracy and national development.

“Dr. Ezeife’s departure is not just the loss to Ndi Anambra or the loss of a statesman; it’s the fading of a guiding star that shone brightly in the sky of Nigerian politics.

“His legacy, however, remains immortalised in the many lives he touched and the profound contributions he made to our nation,” Ozigbo added.

Ozigbo also prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed and urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons and tall ideals that Ezeife stood for.

“As we prepare to bid him farewell in a befitting State Burial, let us celebrate his extraordinary life and cherish the invaluable lessons he imparted,” Ozigbo continued.

“May his soul find eternal rest in the loving embrace of the Almighty, and may his spirit continue to inspire us towards creating a more just, equitable, and prosperous Nigeria.

“Farewell, Okwadike. You were truly a father, a mentor, and a towering figure whose absence will be deeply felt. Your journey on earth was a testament to a life well-lived in service to humanity. Rest in peace, great son of Igbo-Ukwu,” Ozigbo ended.

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