By Ushang Ewa
An educationist and former Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa, Bayelsa and Ebonyi States, Chief Joseph Iyambe Cyril Igbe has passed on at the age of 86.
A native of Nkim in Ogoja Local Government Area, Mr. Igbe, fondly referred to as Chief JIC Igbe, passed away on Monday.
Asides being INEC REC in three States, he served as the first black principal of MaryKnoll College, Okuku and two other schools. Also, he was the Ogoja representative in the constituent assembly during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.
And, on Tuesday, Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade described his death as a monumental loss to the State and the Nigerian nation.
Mr. Ayade, in a statement issued by his Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Linus Obogo, said, the exit of the elder statesman was yet, another sad chapter in the life of the State.
“A pall of gloom has again descended on the state, a few months after the death of former Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas and his wife, Lady Abiola Wayas, with yet the sad exit of JIC Igbe,” the statement read.
“The government and people of Cross River are indeed in pains, losing JIC Igbe at this time is distressing to bear, coming especially at a time his wise counsel is most needed,” Ayade said.
He said Igbe was, “one of our most illustrious sons who shone like a beacon while he was, at various times, the state’s representative at the 1988 Constituent Assembly, as well as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa, Bayelsa and Ebonyi States respectively.”
Ayade who described Igbe as, “a consummate educationist, an administrator, and a disciplinarian,” noted that, “the late elder statesman wore discipline as a badge while he was principal at Boki Boys Comprehensive Secondary School, Okundi, Boki; Mary Knoll Secondary School, Okuku, old Ogoja Local Government Area, and St. Thomas’s College, Ogoja respectively.”
Furthermore, Ayade who urged the family to be consoled by the noble deeds of their patriarch, said “Igbe’s virtues of selflessness, love for family and commitment to community will be remembered forever.” He prayed for his soul to find a resting place in the bosom of the Lord.
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