Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 election, Peter Obi, has described the death of his bosom friend and former Commissioner for Utilities in his Government, Dr. Emeka Nwankwu, as shocking and devastating, stating that in his death, that part of him (Obi) also died.
Obi was speaking on Wednesday after the requiem mass for the repose of his soul at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Abagana.
Obi who recalled how he got a distress message about Emeka’s deteriorating health on December 30, 2019 said that by the time he got to his house, he was already taken to the hospital and eventually he met them while his mortal remains were being deposited in the mortuary.
Reflecting on death, Obi said that each time he encountered mortals that were full of life only to die a few minutes hence, he was reminded that life was nothing to warrant the abuse some people inflict on themselves and the society. “As soon as those who got the opportunity to lead others realise that life is too short to warrant inordinate acquisition as mostly witnessed in Africa, the better it would be for humanity,” Obi said.
Recalling how Emeka joined his government, Obi said: “When I was the Governor, Emeka came to me for something else; I told him I would not grant that to him except he joined the government. When he wanted to raise objections, I told him that I was like somebody trapped in the state and that my only redemption would be proving to the people of the state that we are not cursed but actually the cause of our tribulations. I told him that I needed good and people of proven capacity to assist me.
“This was how he agreed to join us and he delivered as the Commissioner for Utilities. Today, ask all the towns in the state and they will testify that under him as the Commissioner for Utilities, they all got transformers, few towns without electricity got it and schools were provided with water.”
Corroborating what Obi said, Chief Barr. Joe-Martins Uzodike, who was the Commissioner for Information, said that Emeka was noted for timely delivery of all tasks assigned to him. He also described him as a dependable friend.
The requiem mass was presided by the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor. He said that because of Emeka, he did not join in the ordination of the Catholic Bishop of Aba. He described Emeka as a good man who followed the footsteps of his father.
Obi, who followed the team that brought his mortal remains from Regina Ceali Hospital Awka to Abagana, was present throughout the burial. He was accompanied by his wife, Margaret Peter-Obi; daughter, Amaka and all his EXCO members.