Dozie Ikedife: Chapter ends for 'Ikenga Nnewi,' frank, bold Igbo hero

By Chekwas Okorie on 13/12/2018

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We were devastated when we heard the sad news of the transition to glory of Chief Dr. Dozie Ikedife at the age of 85 years. The late Dr. Ikedife was a man of character and strong convictions.

It was at the level of Ohanaeze that some of us began to have closer interaction with him. Although before then he had attained very high reputation as a medical practitioner who deployed his professional skills and resources to render selfless and compassionate medical
services to the downtrodden and the indigent members of the society.
In all the Ohanaeze meetings, whether at the level of Ime Obi (Elders Council) or the General Assembly, Dr. Ikedife’s voice always resonated and at all times demonstrated boldness, frankness and courage.

Dr. Ikediefe was indeed, a very upright man. His interventions and moderation in the very emotive and sometimes explosive agitation for the actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra contributed largely to saving several lives and protecting Igboland from possible invasion which could have resulted from outright misrepresentation of the legitimate aspirations of the protesters.

There is hardly anybody with his integrity and clout anymore to play such vital moderating influence on our youths. Dr. Ikedife never hesitated to make himself available for any service or intervention in Igbo related matters anywhere in Nigeria and abroad.

At the inception of the unfortunate leadership crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Ikedife was among the seven prominent Igbo Leaders that went to the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to seek speedy resolution of the leadership crisis in
the Party. The others that come quickly to mind in that team are, late Dr. John Okam, from Abia State, late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezoke, former Speaker House of Representatives (Second Republic), Prof. L. O. Ocho, Chief Mrs. Maria Okwor, etc.

When it became the turn of Anambra State to produce the President General of Ohanaeze, following the rotational arrangement among the seven Igbo-speaking States of Nigeria, Dr. Dozie Ikedife from Anambra State was the consensus choice of the General Assembly of Ohanaeze to step into the prestigious position of Ohanaeze President General. We venture to state that he was one of the most successful and impressive Presidents General in the 42 years of the existence of the Pan-Igbo Organization.

In the build up to the 2015 Presidential election in Nigeria, Dr. Ikedife stepped forward, out of sheer conviction rather than persuasion or inducement to campaign openly for General Muhammadu Buhari. He was never deterred by the vilifications, insults and abuses from the same quarters that are always intolerant of alternative views. He stood firm in his convictions and was vindicated when President Muhammadu Buhari won the Presidential election in 2015. It is not on record that he ever changed his mind on what he believed in, regarding the Buhari Presidency.

Ndigbo and indeed, Nigerians have lost an elder statesman and a man of unshakable character, integrity and uprightness.

May the noble soul of late Chief Dr. Dozie Ikedife enjoy a peaceful repose in the bosom of the Lord. Amen.

Adieu Ikenga Nnewi.





Posted on December, 13 2018

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