By John Nwaeze
Former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim has mourned the demise of Ezekiel Izuogu, the 1999 gubernatorial candidate with the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo, describing him as a brilliant politician.
Izuogu, from Ideato North Local Government Area, who died, Saturday July, 2020 was a renowned scientist and inventor.
Ohakim in a press statement said Izuogu was a brilliant and selfless politician who was never desperate in his quest for power.
Ohakim praised Izuogu’s ingenuity at gifting the country an indigenous made in Nigeria vehicle, Z-600.
The statement read in parts: “A lot has been said and written about this illustrious Nigerian especially concerning his pioneering efforts, more than two decades ago, at gifting the world with a completely indigenously made in Nigeria vehicle, Z-600.
“Dr. Izuogu’s passage comes at a most significant time because it coincides with a period during which Nigeria, nay Africa, is passing through pains that would not have been as excruciating as we experiencing had our past leaders paid attention to the strategic imperative of capacity building, whether individual or collective.”
He regretted that Izuogu’s capacity and vision for the state and country was not harnessed.
Ohakim said: “Engineer Izuogu showed uncommon capacity that came from a combination of personal talent, training and exposure but which, unfortunately, was not harnessed; for the same reason that makes our country a most vivid illustration of the metaphor of an aero plane which took off but never able to gain altitude. He certainly was not the only Nigerian whose ingenuity was so shoddily treated but his death at a period like this offers us a good opportunity for introspection.
“Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu was also a brilliant politician who was never a victim of desperate quest for power or political patronage. He might not be the author of “Politics Without Bitterness” but it was he who manifested its tenets in practical terms.”
Ohakim stated that the best tribute to the deceased was to implement his noble leadership ideas.
“We can pay him no greater tribute than to strive, from now onwards, to uphold his most cherished ideals particularly that of a rancour-free polity in which the interest of the people takes paramount over personal ambition.
My family and I join other well meaning Nigerians to pray the good Lord to grant him eternal rest.” Ohakim concluded.