From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Former military president of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has described the former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, late Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd) as a genius and one of his finest officers who came to the world to fight for unity.
In his eulogy at Nkanga’s burial at Ikot Nya, Nsit Ibom LGA, of Akwa Ibom State, IBB, as he is popularly called, said even as Nkanga retired from the military, he still continued to fight for development though in mufti.
In a speech read by a representative, Brigadier General Anthony Etukudoh, Babangida said: “He was my former student, one of the best military officers Nigeria has ever produced, Commander, Presidential Fleet during my time –a very good administrator, endowed with passion for hard work.
“As a military governor of Akwa Ibom State, which I created in 1987, late Idongesit Nkanga came to the world as a uniformed soldier, fought for the unity of Nigeria and her development. He retired from the military but still 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. And may his immediate family and indeed Akwa Ibom State, take consolation in the fact that Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga has just passed over, but he will never die.”
Governor Udom Emmanuel in his remarks said it was hard to bid Nkanga goodbye as he (Nkanga) was his friend, and close confidant whom he shared thoughts, ideas, and visions together, and brainstormed together on the way forward for the Niger Delta and for Akwa Ibom.
“Today we are gathered here in this quiet 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 bond and whose dedication to the Akwa Ibom Project and Niger Delta and larger Nigeria enterprise was total and non-negotiable,” Emmanuel said.
Continuing, Governor Emmanuel who had already renamed the Third Ring in Uyo after Nkanga, said: “I find it difficult to address our elder statesman in past tense. Today instead of walking in long step 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-draped casket of our revered Otuekong.”