By Tony Edike
Enugu – The people of Enugu North Senatorial Zone in Enugu State otherwise called Nsukka Zone were recently devastated by the news of the sudden death of two prominent sons of the area.Â To the people, the demise of the two illustrious sons was tragic because it was least expected at this time when their contributions were highly needed both in politics, economy and the on-going agitation for the creation of Adada State from the present Enugu State.
The tragedy specifically hit the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area where within one week, two of its prominent leaders were announced dead. One, a traditional ruler and prominent transporter and the other, a prominent politician and title holder.
Igwe James Mamah, the Chairman/CEO of Ifesinachi Transport Company and traditional ruler of Ummuozzi community in Enugu EzikeÂ gave up the ghost after a surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan, New York, while Chief Bernard Eze, a former Acting National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) died at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness. Chief Eze was also the former National Auditor of PDP and Enugu State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.Â Igwe Mamah was the immediate past Chairman of the Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Eze contested the recently concluded chairmanship of the PDP alongside the eventual winner, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, who incidentally is from the same senatorial zone with him. There were others also in the race. The painful aspect of Chief Ezeâ€™s death was that it came when the people of the area were celebrating the victory of their son, Nwodo as the PDP National Chairman.
And for their representative in the Senate, Senator Ayogu Eze, the deaths cut short his celebration of the return of his political â€œgodfatherâ€ to the helm of affairs. The senator and other leaders of Enugu North were planning a befitting reception for Nwodo when the news of the deaths hit town.
Last week, Senator Eze suspended his busy schedule to visit and pay condolences to the families of these two prominent Nsukka sons. He was accompanied by several PDP chieftains and supporters from the zone.
Fighting back tears, the senator lamented that â€œthe demise of two of these our illustrious sons, foremost transporter and industrialist, His Royal Majesty,Â Â Â Igwe (Dr) James Mamah and erstwhile National Auditor and Acting secretaryÂ of the ruling peoples Democratic party PDP, ChiefÂ Bernard Eze are a great loss to the people of our zoneâ€.
Senator Eze said: â€œThough we are saddened by their death but since no one can question God, we pray God to grant them eternal rest and halt the spirit of death thatÂ is roaring in our zone.
â€œI am seriously devastated by the demise ofÂ Â two of our illustrious sons, but I must sayÂ that we areÂ very proud withÂ the legaciesÂ Igwe Mamah leftÂ behind,â€ he said, recalling how the business mogul rose from grass to grace.
He said Igboeze North Local Government Area and Enugu State at large have reallyÂ Â lost important personalities whose vacuum would be difficult to fill in years to come.
Senator Eze, however, urged the eldest son of the late royal father, Prince Emeka Mamah, to endeavourÂ to sustain theÂ fatherâ€™s legacies, adding that they should be consoled withÂ the fact that their late father was a man of peace who empowered millions of people through his private enterprise.
At theÂ late Bernard Ezeâ€™s home, the lawmaker, who was accompanied by the Enugu State Chairman of PDP, Vita Abba,Â some members of the National Assembly from the zone, commissioners, political appointees among other dignitaries had told widow of the lateÂ former PDP scribe to get him and the zone posted on preparations for the burial ceremony.
Responding, on behalf ofÂ the deceased families, the son of the late Igwe Mamah,Â Â Â Prince Emeka Mamah, thanked theÂ visitors, especially Senator EzeÂ for finding time to come and commiserate with the family in time of sorrow, saying the entire families wereÂ highly appreciative of the visit.Â Â Â Â Â The late Igwe Mamah, was born on April 14, 1944, and was a business mogul, whose success in life is a clear case of rising from grass to grace. The late renowned transporter had started as a truck pusher in Onitsha, Anambra State in 1965 and through dint of hard work, acquired his first commercial truck (Awara- awara) in 1972. Today, the business has grown into a sprawling empire covering transportation, courier business, manufacturing and haulage among which are Ifesinachi Industries (Nig.) Ltd (Transport Division) and Jamesgigye Nigeria Ltd, a vegetable oil company which he established in his home town, Ugbaike.