The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has reacted to the death former Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Dr. Dozie Ikedife.
DAILY POST reports that the prominent Igbo leader died on Tuesday evening at the age of 88.
Ngige, in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday, described late Ikedife as a ‘consummate and courageous politician’ who was steadfast and diligent in all his live endeavours.
He said, “The loss of Dr. Dozie Ikedife, a distinguished medical practitioner of the Obstetrician and Gynecologist specialty, consummate and courageous politician, has created a very big void in the medical profession and political landscape in the South-East and Nigeria in general.
“Dr. Ikedife practiced gynecology and obstetrics with deep knowledge and deep dedication, he was incisive and meticulous in his practice of medicine and produced tremendous results in his field of medicine hence his private medical practice was called ‘Ike di ego,’ because he charges his professional fees and delivers result.
“In politics, he made his mark as a Presidential Liaison Officer (PLO) in the Second Republic under the Shehu Shagari regime when he became the chairman of all PLOs and worked hard to deliver the old Anambra State to his party in the 1983 general elections.
“A man of tremendous strength and courage, he also exhibited that as the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, a position he got into when I was Governor in Anambra state and we worked together as a very big supporter of my government, to enthroned renaissance and foundation for the new Anambra State.
“Even in his native Nnewi, he played a formidable role of a major custodian of the peoples culture and politics.
“Dr. Ikedife loves his Igbo people and that was why he muted the idea of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) which has no violent turn but one that will use persuasion get equity and justice for the Igbos of the former Eastern region of Nigeria.
“He has played his part, like Macbeth said, he is now leaving the stage but with a very loud ovation, may the good lord comfort his family, Anambra State and the Igbo and Nigeria and give them the strength to accept this inevitable loss.”
On the lessons to learn from the live of Ikedife, Ngige said, “Nigerians should learn that it is good to be steadfast and it is good also to be diligent in any assignment you accept to do on behalf of your people. Ikedife wasn’t a tribalist, he was a nationalist but who believed in equity and justice.
“He never moved around from one party to the other as a politician, he believed in progressive politics and that was why he identified with our party, the All Progressives Congress and Muhammadu Buhari as President.”
Similarly, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State said he received the sad news of the death of the former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, with shock and disbelief.
In his condolence message signed by his chief press secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha described Ikedife as a selfless leader who made sacrifices in the overall interest of Ndi-Igbo in particular and Nigeria as a nation.
The governor recalled that when “Ikedife was the President-General of Ohanaeze, he demonstrated high level of exemplary leadership qualities to the acknowledgement and delight of both Igbo and non-Igbo, alike.
“He regretted that his death came at a time his wisdom and wealth of experience both as a leader and as a good Christian are mostly needed.
“The governor also extended his Condolences to the President of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo and his team, and the family of the late Patriarch, praying God to grant his soul eternal rest and give the family the Spiritual and Physical strength to bear his loss,” he said.