Igwe Austin Ezenwa, 86, Dies



*as crack in South East Gov?s Forum threatens burial plans.

The former Secretary to the Anambra state Government (SSG), and one-time governorship candidate, Prince Osita Ezenwa has formally announced the passing on of his father and traditional ruler of Abagana, Njikoka Local Government of the state, Igwe Austin Ezenwa.

The late Ezenwa, a frontline politician, celebrated teacher, former national President of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) who died peacefully on Nov 13, 2012 at 86 years, was also the former deputy governor of the old Anambra state, comprising the present Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states.

Unfortunately, indications have shown that the visible cracks within the ranks of the South East Governors? Forum have nearly marred arrangements for his burial.

Despite denials from the family and friends, on the lukewarm attitude of the three state governments, Prince Osita, his eldest son and head of the Ezenwa family admitted that formal notification had been made to the various state governments.

He stated that the family was going ahead with the burial plans and would readily accommodate any request from the states. That the Anambra state has been obliged with its request to have his remains laid in state at the Government House, Awka on the February 7th, 2013, as part of the late monarch?s final journey home. He disclosed that he would also be laid in state briefly at the state Assembly for a special session, the state Universal Education Board (ASUBEB), and at the Njikoka Local Governemtn Secretariat, Abagana, all on February 7th, 2013.

The late sage, a celebrated disciplinarian and widely traveled politician and an internationally acclaimed teacher under whose tutelage some great Nigerians including late former Senate president Wilberforce Chuba Okadigbo, and his other brothers, Edmund, George and John; former Governor of Edo state-Chief John Odigie Oyegun; prominent business man, Chief Sunny Okogwu. Most other of his former students who are doing well in their careers include Archbishop Valerian Okeke, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Senator Chris Ngige, Gov Peter Obi, Anambra chief Judge-Justice Peter Umeadi, amongst others.

He also taught in most prominent Nigerian schools as Principal, including New Bethel College, Onitsha; Christ the King College, Onitsha; St Gregory?s College, Obalende, Dennis Memeorial Grammar School, Onistha and St Vincent? Secondary?s School, Agbogwugwu amongst others in parts of the country.

He distinguished himself as a scholar while at Christ the Kings College Oni tsha where he was the Senior Prefect. From here he went to Crawford Institute Ireland, University of Ireland and the Southampton University England for his graduate and post graduate degrees respectively. He read Chemistry and Physics.

Politically, Ezenwa was elected into the Federal parliament in 1964, later appointed Minister of State for Trade. He also served as delegate extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

He enlisted into the Biafran civil war at the breakout of the war and rose to the rank of Major.

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