Idongesit Nkanga, the chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and a former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, is dead.
Mr Nkanga passed on in an undisclosed hospital in Uyo on Christmas Eve, his political associate and a family member told PREMIUM TIMES, Friday morning.
There are speculations that Mr Nkanga died of COVID-19. PREMIUM TIMES is yet to independently verify this.
He was 68.
The late Mr Nkanga was Akwa Ibom governor from September 1990 to January during Ibrahim Babangida’s military regime. Ufot Ekaette, who later became the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, was his deputy.
He retired as an air commodore in the Nigerian Airforce.
As the chairman of PANDEF, Mr Nkanga was very vocal in the campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria and the development of the country’s Niger Delta region.
ThisDay published on December 24 an interview it had with Mr Nkanga where he talked about non-completion of the East-West Road which is meant to link together the states in the Niger Delta.
He also talked about the refusal of oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to relocate their head office to the region.
“You see this East-West Road that people have been dying, for how many years? It was later that I found out that even when I was Governor, in my address when General Babangida came to Ikot Abasi because I took him to that bridge linking Rivers State, that bridge was not there, that road was not constructed by the way it is now.
“The road that was there from Port Harcourt was constructed by the Shagari administration. There was no bridge, people used to go by boat. When he came to commission ASCON, I took him there and I said if we can have this bridge, it will help us. In my speech close to 30 years ago, I spoke about East-West Road. You can imagine how long ago we have been talking about that road. Till today that road is not complete,” he had said in the interview.
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