A former President-General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dozie Ikedife, is dead.
Mr Ikedife died at about 7pm on Tuesday in his Nnewi country home, Anambra State at the age of 86 years.
He was born on August 24, 1932.
The deceased’s first son, Dozie Ikedife (jnr) confirmed the demise of his father to journalists on Wednesday in Awka, the state capital.
A reputable medical practitioner, Mr Ikedife acquired a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degrees from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1958 and 1959 respectively.
He said the elder statesman would be buried on today (December 12) less than 24 hours after his death in Nnewi in line with his wish, saying his burial ceremony would be announced later.
Damina Okeke-Ogene, the President of Anambra Chapter, describes the death Mr Ikedife as `shocking’.
He said Igbo people had lost one of its icons and true lover of Igbo tradition and culture.
“Ikedife was a detribalized Nigerian and an illustrious Igbo son who spoke Igbo, stood for Igbo culture and a defender of truth,’’ he said.
He said the former Ohaneze president left a big shoe which people behind would struggle hard to fit into.
“Ikedife left a big shoe behind, all that we will be trying to do is to ensure we improve on the principles he left,” he said.
Similarly, the Anambra State Government has described late Mr Ikedife as “a great iroko’ and brilliant medical doctor who believed in community development.”
The State Commissioner for Information and Enlightenment, C Don Adinuba, said the state government received the news of Mr Ikedife’s death late Tuesday evening with shock.
Mr Adinuba recalled that Mr Ikedife distinguished himself as a student at Onitsha, before he traveled to the United Kingdom where he studied medicine and majored in Obstetrics and gynecology.
“Ikedife would have chosen to remain in UK where he had better job opportunities, but chose to return home where he established a hospital in his Nnewi community because of his love for community development.
“During the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War, he further demonstrated his love for his people by staying back in his area to assist victims of the civil war and render help to those in need,” he said.
Mr Adinuba said with sudden burial date of Mr Ikedife, the state government would take part in the burial ceremony when the family communicated government on the burial ceremony.