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(Nkanu Today) J.J Nwachukwu speaks about HRH Igwe, Rt. Hon. John Egbo Igwesi
HRH Eze John Egbo Igwesi

(Nkanu Today) J.J Nwachukwu speaks about HRH Igwe, Rt. Hon. John Egbo Igwesi


(Nkanu Today) J.J Nwachukwu speaks about HRH Igwe, Rt. Hon. John Egbo Igwesi

As a child, His Royal Highness, Eze John Igwesi’s life was woven around the village and his town. Later, he was to travel out of his immediate environment in search of the golden fleece. It is not surprising therefore why he was able to acquire wide local experience which was to give him a mileage in his role as a community leader and later a traditional ruler. He was a civil servant, farmer, philanthropist, community leader, traditional ruler and a politician. As a staff of the Nigerian Coal Corporation, he rose rapidly through the ranks of the organization as he climbed its corporate ladder.


HRH Eze John Egbo Igwesi

As a teacher, his output had put him ahead of the crowd. Indeed his was a glorious teaching career. As a farmer, he was an enthusiastic one imbued with great farming techniques. He was always eager to increase the yield of his crops. He thereby found pleasure in introducing new varieties of crops to his stock.

As a philanthropist, the late traditional ruler had taken many people under his wings. Indeed, he was able to make positive use of greatness by providing life enrichment opportunities for many. He was one philanthropist that touched all genders. As if he knew that his time on earth would not be long, he left remarkable footprints in the sand of time. As a matter of fact, he boosted enough compassion to qualify as the undisputed champion to the poor and vulnerable.

As a community leader, he was very active in his affairs to his people. He was not only a Frontline stakeholder, but also a mass leader who was able to engender development in the society.


In politics, the late Iroko-Eze Egbo-Igwesi was a long distance runner, with a huge political war chest, verifiable antecedent, a clear political programme, and a proper desire to institute a fairer and kinder economic regime for the people.

Eze Igwesi who was a diligent student of history had an astute understanding of strategy. He wasn’t one to speak cheek in tongue on any issue and therefore never shied away from speaking his mind.

As a politician, he had a headstart over most of his peers, probably because he had a better grasp of the game than most of them. He had wide contacts, exposure and outreach. His political career which spanned over several years, saw him holding several frontline positions. Indeed testimonies of his imperishable contributions and stand-out performance as a politician have continued to speak for him several decades after his transition.

Today, not too many people occupy office to do good. In his days, we had a generation of politicians who held their positions with dignity and carried out their tasks with expertise. As a matter of fact, theirs is a distant past which we recall with nostalgia. This is because nowadays, it is getting increasingly difficult to reincarnate this cycle of politicians in view of the various factors and influences at play.


The late patriarch who had an irrepressible image and possessed the capacity to speak his mind no matter how distasteful and unpleasant, also understood the fact that there is a time when discretion takes precedence over the eloquence of words. Since politics is a game of conflict and conflict resolution, Eze Igwesi was of the view that politicians must arm themselves with the art of war and peace. Though, physically diminutive, he was cerebrally gargantuan. A study of his life provides fascinating insights into his life of service and sacrifice, just as he stood out as a statesman.

As a legislator, his legislative record speaks volume: landmark pieces of legislation are now recorded in his favour, one of which was the motion for the separation of the then Nkanu Division from the old Udi Division. By the reason of the motion, Nkanu was to have its territorial identity separate from Udi. What this means is that Nkanu people still owe him the honor due him. As we honor our past heroes, we inspire the living to heroic acts.

In the old Eastern Region House of Assembly, he represented Udi East Central Constituency, on the platform of the defunct National Council of Nigerian and Cameroun (NCNC). This man with several political credits never fought from the flanks, he will always lead from the front, since he was not a shadow leader. He was able to assert not only his invincibility, but also his indispensability. He was able to hold down the wind inspite of the storms. Such men don’t come too often in a society. They come once in a long while. In fact, he was not an everyday man.


Upon retirement, he gracefully retreated to the background. Even in retirement, he proved that though we may retire from active service, we do not retire from our experience, as the late man of power continued to play fatherly and stabilizing role in the politics and affairs of his people.

As we remember him today, we miss his charm, charisma, engaging eloquence and compelling presence.


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