Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
An elder statesman and former Minister of Establishments in the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) regime, Chief Innocent Diala Nwoga is dead.
Nwoga who hailed from Ekwerazu Mbaise in Imo State died at the age of 85.
Announcing his demise yesterday, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) where he was a member of Board of Trustees (BOT) until death described him as a consummate and seasoned Administrator, who began his Civil Service career as a Divisional Officer in the defunct Eastern Region.
In a statement issued by the Chairman, ADF Bureau of Media and Publicity, Hon. Abia Onyike, the late Nwoga was further described as a leading light and an iconic figure in the development of Igboland and Nigeria.
The late Nwoga whose father, Chief P.O.Nwoga was a Minister in the Eastern Region in the First Republic, attended Stella Maris College, Port-Harcourt and later went to the University of Belfast and Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
He became the Deputy Head of Biafran Fuel Directorate during the Nigeria-Biafra war, Chief of Staff in East Central State and was one of the longest serving Permanent Secretaries in old Imo State.
He was one of the founding fathers of ADF, which began in 2014 with the Enugu Colloquium on the Igbo Question in Nigeria.
The statement further said, “Chief Nwoga made some epochal contributions in Igbo Nationalism by pioneering the historic Ahiajoku Lecture Series in Imo State which provided a new bastion for Igbo renaissance in the first decade of the post-civil war era and served as Member of the first Ahiajoku Organizing Committee in 1979 and later headed the Committee for subsequent series of the annual intellectual harvest.
“In his later days, Chief Nwoga became a more consistent voice in the Igbo liberation movement. Quiet, gentle but insistent, Nwoga never enjoyed shouting matches or abrasive confrontation. He was full of experience and commitment. He was also part of the ADF Imo Project which supported regime change in Imo State before the Supreme Court judgment reversed it.
“His fatherly role as ADF BOT member will be missed. His political experience will be missed just as his highly valued counsels will be missed.”