Sorrow as Ikemba Front leader dies at 84
THE people of Anambra State are mourning famous politician and educationist, Ozo Dokwe Chukwunwike Okam of Enugwu-Agidi, in Njikoka Local Government Area.
He passed on at 83.
Shortly after the May 21, 2015 date of his funeral was announced by his family, posters of tributes were noticed at strategic locations at Enugwu-Agidi, his country home, Awka and Onitsha.
In some of the tributes, the people wrote: “Ozo Okam, we will miss you” Dokwe Chukwunwike Okam, the father of politics is gone, ‘APGA grand patron, farewell and Ozo Oswald Dokwe Okam, rest in peace.’
Ozo Dokwe Chukwunwike Okam was born to the family of late Paramount ruler of Enugwu-Agidi, Chief Ezeugborimiri Okam, on 20th July, 1931.
He attended St. Barnabas primary school Enugu and Hope Waddel College, Calabar, between 1937 and 1947 before proceeding to the Kings College, University of London in 1957 to study Medicine, after working briefly with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Enugu.
Apart from serving as political adviser to the governor of the old Anambra State, late Chief Christian Onoh and his deputy, Chief Austin Ezenwa, the Agbalanze of Abagana, Dokwe Okam, the APGA grand patron was leader of the controversial Ikemba Front of Nigeria, a political pressure group that was formed by the late Biafran Warlord, the Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, with the primary purpose of checking the excesses of the former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo.
During his political career which spanned to over sixty years, Chief Okam, who held three Ozo titles in Enugwu-Agidi, also served at various times as the treasurer of PRP in the defunct East Central State of Nigeria, PTA chairman Bishop Crowther Junior Seminary Awka and went further to represent the Parents Teachers Association Anambra State Branch at the Federal government Conference on primary and secondary schools under the era of Prof. Ben Nwabueze as minister for education.
He will also be remembered for founding the first textile company in the old Anambra State, the defunct NERIDOC Textile and Knitting Industry Limited and Neridoc Transport Company both based at Enugwu-Agidi, Anambra State.
At critical condition, however, the political heavy weight was taken to the Neo International Hospital Enugu, where he died of protracted terminal medical condition.
A burial programme jointly released by Dr. Chukwuemeka Okam and Dr. Izuchukwu Okam on behalf of the family, said there would be service of songs on May 21st while a funeral mass would be held in his honour at St. Marks Anglican Church Enugwu-Agidi, before being committed to mother earth the next day, even as condolence visits by sympathizers continue through the weekend.
A tribute by his children read: “wonderful dad, your death came to us as a shock, we love you, but God loves you more. May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Ozo Dokwe Okam was survived by wife, children and grand children.