By Ikeugonna Eleke
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has expressed worry over the steady loss of ‘irreplaceable great men’ in the country and the state in particular.
Obiano made the observation last Tuesday in Nnewi, at the occasion of the day of tribute for the former President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife.
The governor, who spoke through his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, urged the people of the state to be more concerned with legacies they bequeathed to future generations.
He said, ‘My concern, especially for our dear state, is that we keep on losing men of stature, men of integrity and, character, yet nobody is replacing them.
‘Who are the young men that will take over from these great men? I’m yet to see them. This is a wake-up call for all of us.
‘Life is not all about making money, getting married and raising children. We must stand up for something.
‘Let’s all begin to think of how to better our society through our character and daily dealings with people. Let’s begin to live by example.
‘The legacy of a man is not his wealth, but what he contributed to humanity.’
He described the late elder statesman as one who stood for something, noting that it was little wonder the large number of great men and women that graced the occasion.
While praying for God’s consolation for the family, Obiano challenged his son, Ikedife Jnr, to be courageous to step into the late father’s shoes by upholding truth and peace which his father represented.
Also speaking, the wife of former Biafran leader, Amb. Bianca Ojukwu, canvassed for the immortalization of the late elder statesman.
She said it had always been an issue on how to immortalize great men, especially those from the Igbo Nation.
‘I think individuals themselves, organizations, institutions, should sit down and think of enduring monuments for such great men.
‘Such monuments should not just be in making statutes to remember the dead, but to set up projects that show their philosophies, ideologies and all the things they believed in life, where they are discussed, espoused, promoted and investigated,’ she said.
Ojukwu, former Ambassador to Spain, described Ikedife as an extraordinary man who she spent time with in the company of her late husband.
‘He’s a true Igbo man who advanced the cause of the Igbo Nation. He was always there to fight for their rights,’ she added.
For his part, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, described the late Ikedife as a special gift to the Igbos who knew the power of love.
He said it was the understanding of the virtue as the strongest force that made him offer selfless service, which made him see goodness in others.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion included, The First Republic Aviation Minister, Mbazuluike Amechi; Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Mr Peter Obi; President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; Sen. Andy Uba, among others.