Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, former Minority Leader of the Senate, has expressed deep sorrow over the unexpected demise of Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, the former Governor of Anambra State. Abaribe characterized it as “the great fall of an Iroko tree in Igbo land and Nigeria.”
Representing Abia South in the Senate, Senator Abaribe conveyed his grief, stating that Ezeife’s death has once again deprived the Igbo people and Nigeria as a whole of a dedicated advocate for people’s rights and equality.
In a statement released in Abuja on Friday by his media adviser, Uchenna Awom, Abaribe praised Ezeife for spending his life, particularly in his later years, championing the causes of equity, justice, fairness, and good governance in Nigeria. He emphasized Ezeife’s vocal stance on the Igbo question and their role in the Nigerian project.
“Okwadike never concealed his feelings and consistently voiced his opinions on national issues that impacted his beloved Igbo. He fearlessly spoke truth to power, regardless of whose interests were at stake. A man of panache and candor, he carved a national image for himself as a cultural icon and a brave warrior who held a deep love for our people,” Abaribe remarked.
Senator Abaribe acknowledged that Ezeife’s resolute and fearless approach to national discussions would be challenging to replace. He expressed the irony of Ezeife’s passing on the eve of the Supreme Court’s denial of Nnamdi Kanu’s release, noting that it would have been a fitting gift to Ezeife.