Professor Joe Irukwu joins ancestors

by Alexander N. Iheke (Opiegbe).

The Publisher and community of Igbo Basics publications condole the Irukwu family of Item, Bende LGA, people of Abia State, ndi Igbo in general and Nigerians for the loss of Professor J.O. Irukwu, former Chairman of Ohaneze ndi Igbo.

De Joe, as we call him, was a humble man of integrity who amongst other notables organized the 1st Imo Day in Lagos at the National Arts Theater Igamu, for the purpose of raising funds to build Imo Airport, now Chief Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

Chief Irukwu led the delegation to deliver the funds raised to Commodore Amadi Ikwechegh, then Military Governor of old Imo State.
Chief Irukwu as Chairman of Ohaneze led a delegation from Nigeria who attended the World Igbo Congress Convention 2004 in Newark, New Jersey, USA.  We had the privilege to privately host him and his family at our place in Elizabeth, NJ.

We refer to De Joe as Mr. Insurance as he founded the Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation, a government backed business primarily established to increase Nigeria’s local share of the reinsurance market and to reduce foreign exchange out-flow from Nigeria.
De Joe was an erudite scholar who believed in educational advancement especially in new frontiers of an insurance business.  He was a Lawyer by profession and authored many books including: “Corporate Governance in Modern Africa”, published by Safari Books in 2010.
Professor Irukwu mentored many Nigerians including, Osoka Ogali. Professor J O Irukwu recruited and trained many talents in a line of business dominated by Lloyds of London but was new to Nigeria and Africa.

De Joe’s encouraging words “Jisie ike” will remain a source of hope and resilience as we carry on his legacy of uprightness while we remain custodians of the conscience.
RIP, the brilliant man from Item, Bende LGA, Abia State out of old Eastern Nigeria. Laa n’udo.