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Irukwu was a colossus – Ndigbo Lagos


LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – Ndigbo Lagos has described the death of Prof. Joe Irukwu, former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as one it received with a deep sense of loss and sadness, describing him as a colossus in all the areas of endeavour he was involved in.

In a message made available to Sundiata Post on Monday and signed by Maj.-Gen. Obi Abel Umahi (rtd), President-General, Ndigbo Lagos, said Irukwu “was a man with a good heart who cared so much about friends and family,” adding that “He impacted in the development of so many persons he met on his life’s path and he never ceased to be an inspiration.”

The full statement reads:


We received the news of the demise of one of our Leader, Senior citizen, and the First elected President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Professor Joseph Ogbonnaya Irukwu with sadness and a deep sense of loss.

His death is yet another heavy blow to the Igbo nation.
Death is painful; however, death taking a sage like Prof. Irukwu now, is painful. He was a man with a good heart who cared so much about friends and family. He impacted in the development of so many persons he met on his life’s path and he never ceased to be an inspiration.
Prof Irukwu was greatness personified in various fields and approach to issues. His contribution to the founding of the Imo State University, now Abia State University as a pioneer member of the Governing Council was tremendous. Also he played a prominent role in fostering community development in his hometown of Item and was a frontline member of the Old Bende Union, which engendered the development of the area. His brilliance and administrative qualities are first-class. He was a man of many parts. He was an administrator per excellence, an academic, a lawyer, an Insurance ‘guru’ (many refer to him as Nigeria’s Father of Insurance).
He made so many people happy with his soft spoken and easygoing approach to matters; over the course of a long successful life, he mentored a good number of people across the country into greatness. He was not great in isolation; he made all of us great too. Dee Ọgbọ was without a doubt a great personality; intelligent, discerning, attentive, and full of knowledge. He showed so much compassion and displayed a lot of humility so much that every one who knew him sought to emulate him. Your loving memory will ever remain a monument in our hearts.
He served in various capacities in the public and private sectors and was known to have distinguished himself in various walks of life. Professor Joe Irukwu, Dee Ogbo, as he was popularly and fondly known, was the first President-General of the democratised Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a founding and pioneer member of Ndigbo Lagos. Until his death, was a member of the Council of Elders of Ndigbo Lagos.

Ndigbo Lagos joins his family, Abia State, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the good people of Igboland and Nigeria in general in mourning this outstanding gentleman and patriot. We shall sorely miss him. Thank you for a life well spent.

May his soul find rest in the bosom of the Almighty. Amen !

For: Ndigbo Lagos

Major General Obi Abel Umahi(rtd) OFR President-General

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