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Gone But Not Forgotten: Pres. Buhari, Obasanjo, Gowon & More Honour Late Chinyere Asika



 A special tribute ceremony was recently held in honor of the late First Lady of East Central State, Dibueze Chinyere Asika in Abuja and Enugu respectively as President Buhari, Governor Obiano, Yakubu Gowon, Theophilus Danjuma, Alex Ekwueme  and other formidable  Nigerian leaders paid tribute to a true Igbo lady who also believed in Nigeria.
Chinyere Asika was the wife of Ukpabi Asika, former Sole Administrator of East Central State from 1967-1975, who died in 2004.  She is also the elder sister to Kema Chikwe, former Minister of Aviation.
Zodiac Hotels, Enugu was the venue of ‘Igbo Day of Tributes’ held in her honor on Monday. The Chairman of the Occasion and close friend of deceased family, Senator Uche Offia Nwali in his keynote address described Chinyere Asika as a woman who used her influence to better the lives of those around her, and came to the service of her people at the crucial stages after the civil war.
Governor Willie Obiano, represented by Primus Odili, Special Assistant on Special Duties asked the audience to emulate the good in Chinyere Asika which borders on service to the people. Governor Obiano asked Igbo leaders to use the occasion to close ranks so that the South East can move forward astronomically.
The Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC), Obinna Akukwe in his address described Chinyere Asika as a humanist. She asked Igbo leaders to stop fencing themselves off from the masses only to resurface during electioneering period, asking them to emulate the deceased who treated everyone as equal, despite privileged background.
President of Ohanaeze Youth Council,  Okey Isiguzoro described Chinyere Asika as a woman who helped numerous persons and groups find their feet and called on Igbo leaders to exhibit the selfless disposition of the deceased.
Dignitaries at the event took turns to extol the philanthropy  associated with Chinyere Asika. Nollywood Actors whom she helped to the top were around in Enugu to pay tributes and dancing troupes also spiced up the occasion.
Earlier at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Wednesday, eminent Nigerians also gathered for a service of songs in her honor. Speaking at the occasion, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Senator Chris Ngige described Chinyere Asika as ‘a believer in one Nigeria who stood for unity”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, represented by his wife Bola, described Chinyere Asika as a great woman and “a dutiful wife who remained a pillar of support to her husband from the good days till moments of illness.”
Ahmed Joda, Super Permanent Secretary and Chairman of President Buhari’s Transition Committee said that Chinyere and her husband made a perfect couple, always together, always cherishing each other and praised how she took care of her husband when stroke came calling. He added that “The man took the worst job Nigeria has had to offer at the timer”.
Former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, who actually appointed Ukpabi Asika the Sole Administrator of East Central State in 1967 said that “he never believed that anybody will take up the job of Sole Administrator at that time” and praised the sacrifices Ukpabi Asika made for his people and Nigeria and the support she gave her husband in times of difficulties.
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Alex Ekwueme explained how Ukpabi and Chinyere Asika mobilized support for him during his campaign for the Vice Presidency and felt privileged to speak in good words at the important occasion.
Other dignitaries at the occasion include General Theophilus Danjuma, Professor ABC Nwosu, Oby Ezkwesili, Senator Uche Ekwunife, among others.
Chinyere Asika is survived by Obi Asika and three daughters.
Story/Photo Credit: Obinna Akukwe

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Peter Ejirika,CPA

    August 12, 2015 at 1:56 am

    It is my earnest plea that the Great Lord Jehovah grants Lady Chinyere Ejiogu Asika the acceptance among the angels that was denied her on earth in her public life. Also, oh thou Great Jehovah grant her immediate and extended family the fortitude to bear her home going. It is worth stating that Lady Chinyere Ejiogu Asika was more to the Ibos than a recollection of the unpleasant memories of the civil war. She was a flag bearer of Women Emancipation in Africa and was a woman who gave that others might see light. I guess all these attributes were buried beneath the unpleasant memories of the war which Gowon tried very hard to conjure in his speech to prove that he is the Victor Ludorum. Lady Chinyere Asika was an emblem of peace, I thought she would have preferred to be eulogized without conjuring the horrible imagery of the civil war because she was merely towing her husband’s line. However, the Ibos should remember she was our sister and the last chapter of the amalgamation narrative of the Ibos and the Hausa/Fulani is yet to be written. It is worth noting that the British had made similar mistake in the creation of India in which they amalgamated the Hindus and the Muslims but Mahatma Gandhi, the wise theorized that it was foolhardy to have a group of people in India who do not share in the collective vision of one indivisible India so in 1948 he paved the way for the creation of Pakistan out of India to correct the mistake of the British. This will be the lot of the Ibos even if it takes seven hundred years like it took the Israelites. The rationale for this contention is that the Ibos are the only leaderless community in Nigeria. Though, the Ibos are surrounded by other ethnic groups who have well defined institutions of monarchy but at the advent of the British on the West Coast of Africa all these other ethnic groups were engaged in acrimonious intertribal wars but the Ibos with their leaderless society. This is the greatest distinction between the Ibos and the rest of Nigeria so it is foolhardy to continue to keep the Ibos back because we do not share in Nigeria’s vision of one Nigeria. Though, the reality of the situation is that Ibos are held back in Nigeria due to the dividends of the dependency theory which accrue to Nigeria as a result. This theory is otherwise known as, “ Monkey De Work Baboon De Chop”.

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