Encomiums as Nkanga goes home
• Babangida, Emmanuel, Diri, PANDEF, Others Pay Tributes
Tributes continued to pour in for the late Air Commodore (rtd.) Idongesit Nkanga, who was buried, yesterday, in his hometown, in Nsit Ibom Local Council of Akwa Ibom State.
The former Military President, General, described him, as “a fine administrator, who was endowed with passion for hard work.”
In a condolence message read at his funeral by Gen. Anthony Etukudo (rtd.) who represented him, Babangida said: “Nkanga came to the world as a uniform soldier, fought for Nigeria’s unity and development. He was my former student, one of the best military officers Nigeria has ever produced. Commander Presidential Fleet during my time, a very good administrator, endowed with passion for hard work.
“He was a military Governor of Akwa Ibom State, which I created in 1987.He retired from the military but still remained a fighting soldier in mufti. He fought many bAttles of life for the development and advancement of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. His legacies as military governor are unquantifiable. Nigeria will greatly miss his rare ingenuity. May his soul rest in peace. ”
Also, representing the Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Senator Bassey Henshaw, said: “We are still in shock over the sudden demise of our dear, National Chairman. The entire leadership and membership of PANDEF are saddened by his death. It is devastating, words are not enough to express the pain and grief we feel. He was selfless, humane, broad-minded, trusted leader, esteemed compatriots and statesmen.
“ Nkanga was unwaveringly committed and dedicated to the founding ideals and objectives of PANDEF; to find unity, peace, and development in the Niger Delta region.
“With a combination of his strict military background, political and administrative sagacity and working in tandem with our National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark and other critical stakeholders of the region, he was able to seamlessly, elevate PANDEF’s standing to enviable summit within a short period as our pioneer national Chairman.
Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Douye Diri recalled his last encounter with Nkanga in Port Harcourt, when all Niger Delta governors converged and leadership of PANDEF, as well as others were represented.
“We have not just lost a father, we have lost an activist of the Niger Delta region. We’ve lost an intelligencer of the Niger Delta Region and an Air commodore of Nigeria”
Governor Udom Emmanuel described him as “his friend, and close confidant, whom he shared thoughts and ideas, visions together, and brainstormed on the way forward for the Niger Delta and for Akwa Ibom….
“Today, we are gathered here to pay tribute to a man, who was in every sense of the word, a colossus, a statesman, a patriot, a man of impeccable character and integrity, whose words were his bonds, and whose dedication to Akwa Ibom project, Niger Delta and larger Nigeria enterprise, was total and non- egotiable. We are gathered here to bid farewell to a friend, to a man who was passionately committed to the development of Akwa Ibom State.”
“I find it difficult to address our elder statesman in past tense. Today, instead of walking in long step with me as he always did since faith brought us together in a political journey several years ago. I am here staring at the flag starred casket of our revered Otuekong.
“A man of Christian masculinity. The song is ended, but the memory lingers on. The song may have ended today for you my brother. The song may have ended for you my DG, my friend, my confidant. The song may have ended for you Idongesit Akwa Ibom…but the memories of your factful life linger on.”
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