Igbo men and women from diverse backgrounds within the Igbo community gathered at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Umuahia on Friday to receive the remains of the late Professor Joseph Irukwu, a former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in the Abia State capital.
The remains of the late Igbo leader , who died in July 2023 at the age of 89, was received by a mammoth crowd comprising traditional rulers, captains of industry, government officials, and religious and community leaders, at a commendation service held in his honour.
In his speech at the event, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said Irukwu’s death was a big loss to the Igbo nation.
Iwuanyanwu, who recalled the selfless efforts of Irukwu in his lifetime, said he was a man who stood for the unity and progress of the Igbo.
He charged young Igbo youths to emulate the legacies of Irukwu in shaping their future.
Abia State governor, Alex Otti, said Irukwu’s death was a big shock and a great loss to Abia State.
According to him, Irukwu, who was the the first Professor of Insurance in Nigeria, was a selfless and patriotic man.
Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, who spoke on behalf of Abia State Council of Elders, lauded the contributions of the former Ohanaeze Ndigbo President to the development of the old Eastern region, adding that he popularized insurance business among Igbo businessmen.
Also speaking, the President of Item Welfare Union, Onwuka Orji, said Irukwu contributed immensely to the development of his fatherland.
Before the commendation service, the body of the former Igbo leader, who was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, was received at the Abia State High Court Complex in Umuahia.
Irukwu will be buried on Saturday, October 21, at Amaokwe Item in Bende LGA of Abia State.