The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum on Saturday mourned Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd), the Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum and former Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom State under the regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
The Air Commodore in the Nigerian Air Force was said to have died on the eve of Christmas at the age of 68.
In a statement by Chief E. K.Clark (South-South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South West), Chief John Nwodo (South East), and Dr. Pogu Bitrus (Middle Belt), the group said the late Nkanga was a great pillar of support to the forum.
The statement read, “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.
“In May 2001, he became a member of the Board of the Cooperative Development Bank before he emerged as the governorship candidate of the defunct Nigeria Democratic Party in the 2003 general elections.
“Nkanga was later appointed as the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Airport Implementation Committee in 2007 and became a member of the South-South Elders and Leaders’ Forum in January 2010.
“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.
“If we had a choice in the matter, we would still keep him with us for a very long time. But he has played his part and the good Lord has 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.”