By Sam Eyoboka, Olayinka Latona & David Oso
NATIONAL president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makin-de and erstwhile FRESH presidential candidate, Rev. Chris Okotie have described the demise of the late publisher of Guardian Newspapers and former Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Alex Ibru and ex-Biafra warlord/elder statesman, Chief Chukwuemeka Odum-egwu-Ojukwu as a sad and irreparable loss.
In separate reactions, the threesome argued that the vacuum left by these ‘great men’ would be very difficult to fill, especially at a time when men of principles, courage and vision are in high demand.
Pastor Oritsejafor said: “these deaths are extremely painful especially coming at a time when the Nigerian nation is in dire need of visionary leaders to galvanise the nation’s abundant human and natural resources for the benefit of every individual member of the society.”
The CAN president urged the Federal Government to hearken to the yearnings of the people by immortalizing these men who had contributed immensely to the development of the nation.
On his part Makinde extended his heartfelt sympathies to Mrs. Maiden Ibru, and all members of the Ibru dynasty as well as Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu and other members of that family on the loss of Mr. Alex Ibru and the Ikemba of Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
According to him, the news of their passage unto glory is such that many Nigerians who have come to know them find difficult to come to terms with, adding: “These two are men of valour and substance who stood for what they believed in and in many ways impacted the lives of many.
In a statement, Rev Okotie, described Ibru as a business icon, who changed the face of journalism in his generation.
“Mr. Ibru recruited some of the best minds from the ivory tower and mainstream media and then, began a polishing process for the media, which restored the dying tradition of quality journalism.”
Rev Okotie also hailed Dim Ojukwu as a great Nigerian who contributed immensely to the growth of democracy through enlightened dialogue, active involvement and a commitment to the defence of injustice, which culminated in the unfortunate civil war he led.