….We have lost a classy achiever —Ibori, Okowa
By Clifford Ndujihe
Elder statesman and business mogul, Chief Sonny Odogwu, is dead. The accomplished administrator, according to a family source, died in his home on Monday night, aged 87.
Born on March 20, 1931 in Calabar, Chief Odogwu, who hailed from Asaba, Delta State, lived a fulfilled life as an accomplished administrator, industrialist, and insurance consultant for which he was honoured with the CFR award by the Federal Government.
His demise elicited tributes from former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who described the death of the elder statesman as a monumental loss to Anioma people, Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.
A classy achiever has departed – Ibori
Chief Ibori, in a statement by his Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, said Chief Odogwu would be sorely missed.
He said: “Though I was a much younger man than Chief Odowgu, he related closely with me as a friend and Governor of Delta State from 1999 to 2007. He was my adviser-in-chief during my campaigns in 1999. Ide Ahaba, Chief Sonny Odogwu, who was at the time already a house hold name in Nigeria and one of the richest Nigerians alive was humble enough to strike real friendship with me.
I benefited greatly from his advice. His desire was a fast-track development of Delta state which was just a few years old when I became Governor. He made it his duty to help me understand the complexity of our dear state, Delta.”
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, on his part, extended his heartfelt commiserations to the Odogwu family and condoled with the Asagba of Asaba, Obi Prof. Chike Edozien and the Asaba people on the death of one of their most illustrious sons.
Okowa expressed his sorrow via a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu in Asaba on Tuesday. It reads: “Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has received with immense sadness, news of the passing away of one of Nigeria’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropist, Chief Sonny Odogwu, (CFR).
“The Governor shares in their pain and sorrow as they mourn the late Chief Sonny Odogwu who was also honoured in his lifetime with the Zik Leadership Award in Business in 1997, the World Bank Group-IMF African Club Prize in Business Leadership in 1998 as Africa’s best businessman and Lifetime Award as an outstanding personality of the decade by The Anioma Professionals Forum in Lagos in 2017.
“The governor believes that Chief Sonny Odogwu will also be long remembered and honoured as a very generous philanthropist whose US- based Non-Governmental Organization, “Africa NGO” supports more than 260 programmers in 27 African countries. In addition about 35 nations in Africa have benefited from direct “Africa” assistance solely sponsored by Chief Odogwu.”