From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Okey Sampson, Umuahia
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of Bernard Enweremadu, Eze Ukwu of Ngwa Ukwu, the traditional head of Ngwa land.
In his commiseration with the government and people of Abia State, as well as the royal family, Buhari recognised and paid tribute to the contributions of the revered royal father to the development of his community during his reign of 44 years.
In a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari noted that as a leader who cared so much for his people, the unity and prosperity of his country, Enweremadu will be remembered for his vibrant leadership, wisdom and courage.
“In this time of grief, the president’s prayers and thoughts are with the Eze Ukwu royal family and the people of Ngwa land, praying that the soul of the royal father rest in peace,” the president said in the statement.
In the same vein, former Abia State governor and Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, described Enweramadu’s death as a huge loss to Abia State and Nigeria in general.
Extolling the virtues of the late monarch, Kalu said the deceased used his position and resources to advance the cause of the people.
While admonishing the Enweramadu family to uphold the legacies of their late patriarch, the Senate chief whip urged traditional rulers to emulate the good deeds of the late monarch.
In a condolence message, Kalu conveyed his heartfelt condolences to people and government of Abia State over the demise of the prominent monarch.
“I received with pain the news of the passing of Enweramadu.
“The late monarch contributed to nation building in various capacities. He lived a purposeful life dedicated to the service of humanity.
“The late traditional ruler will be remembered for his outstanding leadership attributes and good legacies.
“No doubt, the late monarch will be sorely missed,” he said.
Kalu prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and give the Enweramadu family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, some traditional rulers in Abia State have mourned Enweremadu’s death, who passing was made known on Saturday by his eldest son, Christopher.
Umuokahia monarch and Chairman, Obingwa Traditional Rulers Council, Okey Ananaba, described Enweremadu’s death as a big loss to the Ukwa/Ngwa nation and Abia as a whole.
Ananaba said Enweremadu was at the forefront in the move for the creation of Abia and did everything to ensure the peace and unity of the state.
Describing the late monarch as the symbol of Ngwa tradition and culture, Ananaba said the late Eze Ukwu of Ngwa Ukwu while alive had the capacity of brining the Ngwa nation together in time of crisis.
Traditional ruler of Ehere community, Young Nwangwa, said it was unfortunate Enweremadu died when he did.
He said the late traditional ruler was very disciplined and outstanding the way he carried himself while alive, adding that Enweremadu brought respect to the traditional institution in Abia State.
“He set a very high standard for the traditional institution in Abia, we should console ourselves because we’ve lost an important figure in our mist,” he said.
Enweremadu was crowned the 13th traditional head of Ngwaland on October 23, 1976 and the age of 33 and he reigned for 44 years.
The late eze was the deputy chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in old Imo State and became the chairman of Abia Traditional Rulers Council on creation of the state.