The former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida as well as other prominent Nigerians have mourned the death of the former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga.
Represented by Air Commodore Anthony Etukudo, Gen. Babangida in a tribute during the burial of the Ex military governor on Saturday at his home town, Ikot Nya, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State described him as one of his best students and the best military officers Nigeria has ever produced.
He added that Nkanga was the Commander, Presidential Fleet during his time and a very good administrator that was endowed with passion for hard work.
He recalled that ”as a military governor of Akwa Ibom State, which I created in 1987. Late Idongesit Nkanga came to the world as a uniform soldier, fighting for the unity of Nigeria and its development.
”He retired from the military but remained as a fighting soldier in mufti. He fought many battles of life for the development and advancement of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. His legacies as military governor of Akwa Ibom State, are unquantifiable. Nigeria will greatly miss his rare ingenuity. I thank Akwa Ibom State for having given Nigeria a genius in the person of Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga. May his soul rest in peace.“
Also the Pan Niger Delta Forum PANDEF on its own said, “we are still in shock over the sudden demise of our dear, National Chairman Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (Rtd) on the eve of Christmas in Uyo Akwa Ibom State. The entire leadership and membership of PANDEF are saddened by his death, it is devastating, words are not enough to Express the pain and grief we feel. He was selfless, humane, broad-minded, a trusted leader, esteemed compatriots and statesmen.
”Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga was unwaveringly committed and dedicated to the founding ideals and objectives of PANDEF; to find unity, peace, and development in the Niger Delta region.
“With a combination of his strict military background, political and administrative sagacity and working in tandem with our National leader Chief Edwin Clark and other critical stakeholders of the region, he was able to seamlessly, elevate the standing of PANDEF to enviable summit with a short period as our pioneer national Chairman.
“His last official engagement as National Chairman was the public hearing on the bill for the South South Development Commission by the House of Representatives’ Committee on justice at the National Assembly, Abuja, where he made a submission on behalf of PANDEF”
On his own, Akwa Ibom governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel described late Nkanga as his friend, and close confidant whom he shared thoughts, ideas and visions with.
Gov. Emmanuel who recalled how they had brainstormed on the way forward for the Niger Delta and Akwa Ibom said it was hard to bid him a goodbye.
His words, “Today we are gathered here in this quite serene village to pay tribute to a man who was in every sense of the word a colossus, a statesman, a patriot, a man of impeccable character and integrity, whose words were his bonds and whose dedication to Akwa Ibom project and Niger Delta and larger Nigeria enterprise was total and non negotiable. We are gathered here to bid farewell to a friend to a man who was fashionably committed to the development of Akwa Ibom State.
” I find it difficult to address our elder statesman in the past tense. Today instead of walking in long steps with me as he always did since fate brought us together in a political journey several years ago I am here staring at the flag starred casket of our revered Otuekong.
“A man of Christian masculinity. The song is ended but the memory lingers on, the song may have ended today for you my brother, the song may have ended for you my DG, my friend, my confidant, the song may have ended for you Idongesit Akwa Ibom, ..but the memories of your faithful life linger on”