Igbos from different walks of life were at the International Conference Centre, ICC, Umuahia, on Friday as the body of a former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor Joseph Irukwu, was received in the Abia State capital.
The remains of the late Igbo leader , who died in July 2023 at the age of 89, was received by a mammoth crowd comprising traditional rulers, captains of industry, government officials, and religious and community leaders, at a commendation service held in his honour.
In his speech at the event, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said Irukwu’s death was a big loss to the Igbo nation.
Iwuanyanwu, who recalled the selfless efforts of Irukwu in his lifetime, said he was a man who stood for the unity and progress of the Igbo.
He charged young Igbo youths to emulate the legacies of Irukwu in shaping their future.
Abia State governor, Alex Otti, said Irukwu’s death was a big shock and a great loss to Abia State.
According to him, Irukwu, who was the the first Professor of Insurance in Nigeria, was a selfless and patriotic man.
Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, who spoke on behalf of Abia State Council of Elders, lauded the contributions of the former Ohanaeze Ndigbo President to the development of the old Eastern region, adding that he popularized insurance business among Igbo businessmen.
The President of Vision Africa international, Bishop Sunday Onuoha described late former president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor Joe Irukwu as an illustrious son of Abia that made a good name for himself.
Bishop Onuoha who was preached at the commendation service, said everyone would be remembered for he or she his did while alive. Onuoha said the deceased was a man of many parts, associated well with community people, an academician, and an embodiment of knowledge.
Making reference to Provide 22 verse 1 and 2, and Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verse, the preacher said a good name is better than fine perfume, stressing that a good name is very important in Igbo land, which also shows a sign of identity. He noted that even in the scriptures, names were recognized.
The Methodist clergy observed that someone’s name tells where he comes from, adding that God changed Abram to Ibrahim because He knows Ibrahim will be father of many nations.
Also speaking, the President of Item Welfare Union, Onwuka Orji, said Irukwu contributed immensely to the development of his fatherland.
Before the commendation service, the body of the former Igbo leader, who was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, was received at the Abia State High Court Complex in Umuahia.