ANAMBRA State Government has commiserated with the Ikwuemesi family and the Royal Cabinet of Ogidi over the death of Chief Victor Ikwuemesi, a foremost chartered accountant and entrepreneur who came into national limelight in 2000, when he set up the Sosoliso Airlines Ltd to run scheduled domestic passenger services.
Chief Ikwuemesi, who died yesterday in London, was an indigene of Nkwelle Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, was the latest prominent victim of the coronavirus.
According to a statement by Anambra State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment,C. Don Adinuba, Chief Ikwuemesi was not just a great son of Anambra State but also a worthy Nigerian whose sole purpose for establishing airline was to change the sociopolitical landscape of a key component of the Nigerian federation which was unfortunately being schemed out of national affairs.
“The two airports in the Southeast by 1999 when democratic rule was restored were no longer in use. People travelling from the Southeast to any other part of the country had to go by road, with all the incalculable costs and risks.
Rather than thrown up his hands in the air in despair and lament about marginalization, as many of his people are wont to do, Chief Ikwuemesi decided to take the bull by the horn by establishing an airline to reopen the Enugu and Owerri airports.
It is instructive enough that Enugu became the headquarters. It is to his credit and foresight that the two airports have remained open ever since.
“Sosoliso Airlines was flying into Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, apart from Enugu and Owerri. Owing to its acute professionalism, it commanded tremendous customer loyalty. However, on December 10, 2005, its 1145 flight which took off from Abuja with mostly students of Loyola Jesuit College who were going home on holidays crashed at Port Harcourt International Airport. Only one person survived,” the commissioner said.
Adinuba maintained that Chief Ikwuemesi’s place in the history of our people is assured. “He devoted the last 20 years to his own spiritual growth and to the development of his Ogidi community which honoured him with the chieftaincy titles of Ezelue and EbubeOgidi, making him a High Chief and a member of the Royal Cabinet.
“There are five major things for which Chief Ikwuemesi will be remembered for long: humility even in spite of huge entrepreneurial success; a high savings rate which accelerates business growth; integrity, loyalty and trust in business; commitment to the common good; and the practice of the AkuLue Uno, or Think Home, philosophy, which this administration has been espousing with evangelical fevour.”