SMBLF mourns ex-military admistrator, Idongesit’s death
•Says late leader a strong campaigner for restructuring and Niger Delta development
Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) on Sunday mourned the death of Chairman, of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and former Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom under General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, describing him as one the strong campaigners for the restructuring of Nigeria and the development of the country’s Niger Delta region.
Nkanga, who is a prominent leader of SMBLF, ruled Akwa Ibom State for two years as military administrator, and later in 2003 contested the governorship of the state on the platform of the defunct National Democratic Party (NDP), died on the eve of Christmas at the age of 68.
SMBLF said this in a statement jointly signed by its chairman, Chief Edwin Clark for South-South, Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), Chief John Nwodo (South-East) and Dr. Pogu Bitrus (Middle-Belt), copy of which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.
“With heavy hearts but total submission to the will of Almighty God, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) announces the death of the Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), former Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom for 2 (two) years under the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida administration and a prominent leader of SMBLF, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga.
“The astute administrator and community leader passed on to higher glory on the eve of Christmas at the age of 68.
He retired as an Air Commodore in the Nigerian Air Force,” the Forum said.
“As the chairman of PANDEF, Nkanga was very vocal in the campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria and the development of the country’s Niger Delta region,” it added.
SMBLF said the late Nkanga, who was also a member of the South-South Elders and Leaders’ Forum, was a thoroughly decent gentleman who never raised his voice no matter how strong he felt on an issue.
According to it, the the former military administrator would always look for a way out no matter how thorny the issue was, saying this attribute made him a highly respected voice in leadership.
The Forum recalled that Nkanga, as chairman of PANDEF, was a great pillar of support to the leader of the group, Pa Clark, declaring that all organizations where he left his indelible marks must be in deep mourning as his painful exit had left a yawning gap that would be very difficult to refill for a long time.
“He was a thoroughly decent gentleman who never raised his voice no matter how strong he felt on an issue.
“He would always look for a way out no matter how thorny the issue is and this made him a highly respected voice in leadership.
“As chairman of PANDEF, he was a great pillar of support to the Leader of the group, Pa E. K Clark. All organizations where he left his indelible marks must be in deep mourning of this good and great man whose painful exit has left a yawning gap that will be very difficult to refill for a long time,” the Forum stated.
SMBLF said that its wish would have been to have the late Nkanga around for a very long time if it had a choice to do so, but quickly noted that the former military administrator had played his part and the good Lord had called him to a sweeter rest.
“All we can do now is to wish him eternal farewell as we pray to God to be with every member of the good family he has left behind and let his memory be evergreen with his good legacy as his succession for ages to come,” it prayed.