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The immediate past Governor of Abia State has expressed deep grief over the news of the passing on of Professor Joseph Ogbonnaya Irukwu, who died at the age of 89 years.
Dr. Ikpeazu described the late Professor Irukwu as an ‘authentic academic Iroko tree.’
According to Dr Ikpeazu, ‘Prof was Africa’s first Professor of Insurance and he it was who developed Insurance as an academic field in Nigeria writing several textbooks in the field. A great lawyer whose academic contributions, especially in the field of Insurance Law led to his elevation to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)’.
‘He was the pioneer Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Government owned Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation and founder of the African Development Insurance Company Limited. He was a renowned and respected voice in Corporate Nigeria.’
‘A great son of Item in Abia State, Professor Irukwu did not limit his greatness to the field of Law and Insurance. He was a committed and devoted son of Item Okpi and held the title of Omezioha Item. He was also a proud Abian whose doors were constantly open to me as Governor. He was a passionate Igbo patriot and a great Nigerian who rose to serve as the President General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide’.
The former Governor added that the death of Professor Irukwu has robbed us of one of our most prized human assets and noted that his death signals a further depletion in the ranks of our notable elder statesmen whose passionate and dedicated services helped shape our people.
He however noted that the late Professor lived a good and long life complete with solid achievements in every aspect of human endeavor.
Dr. Ikpeazu extends his deep condolences to the Irukwu family of Item, the entire people of Abia State, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and the academic community in Nigeria and Africa.
The former Governor prays to the Almighty God to grant his gentle soul rest and urges his immediate family to find succour in the imperishable legacies of their father and patriarch.