THE commercial city of Nnewi, last weekend, played host to crème de la crème from different sectors in and around Anambra State, who trooped in their numbers to pay special tributes to the former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the late Dr. Dozie Ikedife, who died in December last year at the age of 88 and was buried immediately, according to his wish.
The event attracted Governor Willie Obiano, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke; the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), led by the State Chairman, Dr. Emma Monago; the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the state chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike and Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu,, wife of late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and PDP presidential vice president, Mr Peter Obi, among others.
In his tribute, the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano expressed worries over the steady loss of great men in the state. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke said that his concern for the state is that it keeps on losing men of stature, integrity, character, without corresponding replacements.
“Where are the young men to take over? This is a wake-up call for all of us. Life is not all about making money, getting married and raising children.
Let’s all begin to think of how to better our society through our characters and dealings with people. The legacy of a man is not his wealth, but what he contributed to humanity,” he said.
He described the late elder statesman as one who stood for something good, little wonder a large number of great men and women graced the occasion. He challenged his son to be courageous enough to step into the late father’s shoes by upholding truth and peace which he represented.
The wife of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu who said it has always been an issue on how to immortalise great men, especially of Igbo extract, noted that individuals themselves, organisations, institutions should sit down and think of enduring monument for such a great man.”
According to Bianca, “such a monument should not just be in making statutes to remember the dead, but to set up projects that will showcase his philosophies, ideologies and all the things he believed in life, where they will be discussed, espoused, promoted and investigated.”
“He’s a true Igbo man who advanced warfare and the course of Igbo nation. He was always there to fight for their rights.” She congratulated Ikedife’s son for bringing people together to honour his father.”
On his part, the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu described him as a special gift to the Igbo who knew the power of love.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Emma Monago described Ikedife as “a colossus in medical practice, an icon of the medical profession and an epitome of medical standard,” adding that “medical practitioners in the state in particular and the country greatly miss him.”