Nigeria is a better nation with Ndigbo, says Gowon
He made the assertion in his eulogy at the burial service of the late Chief Mrs. Chinyere Asika, wife of the former Sole Administrator of the defunct East Central State, Ajie Ukpabi Asika at the All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Onitsha Anambra State.
Just as Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano described the late Asika as a woman who exemplified the virtue of patience, charity and humility.
Gowon’s view was borne out of a deep appreciation of the commitment and sacrifice of Ukpabi Asika and his wife to the survival of Nigeria as one entity especially during the most difficult times of the nation’s history.
He recalled that when he proposed the position of sole administrator of East Central State, Asika told him, “I prefer to do this for the good of Igbo people.”
“I was struggling to get an administrator for the newly created East Central State when the name of the late Ukpabi Asika came up. He was then a lecturer at Ibadan. When we met, I do not know which one of us was younger. But he exuded strength of character and understanding, and wanted to start work immediately. Though I cautioned him to think about it. I told him, you must consult your brothers, and your wife who was there to know if you would accept, I was convinced that this is the man I needed,” Gowon stated.
“I did not know how to place his wife, Chinyere, but when she arrived from Kenya, she plunged head-on into the idea. She was a courageous woman, caring and humble. I remember her efforts in ‘Otu Olu Obodo’ – a public service initiative which she used as a tool of empowerment for her Igbo kinsmen and women.”
In the same vein, Governor Obiano told Asika’s children and family to imbibe the virtues of patience, charity and humility from the late Mrs. Asika, whilst urging the congregation and Ndi Anambra to remember “her good deeds and pray for the repose of her soul.”