Professor Damachi Finally Goes Home After Court’s Order

In Breaking News, Reports

By Jonathan Ugbal

The remains of foremost labor leader, businessman, academic, and author, Professor Ukandi Godwin Damachi who passed away on November 29, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland, were laid to rest, last Saturday in his native Bebuabong community of Obudu Local Government Area.

An author of over 25 books and journals, Professor Damachi died following an illness, a few days after his 79th birthday on November 17th.

However, several teething issues and a Court case delayed his interment earlier slated for October 8, 2022.

The burial held after the Bebuabong Community decided on April 8, 2023, to inter his remains in line with Bette’s burial rites while a proper ceremony can be held in September 2023.

The resolution was made, “arising from the ruling of the Magistrate  Court Yaba Lagos on the 6th of April 2023 in the matter between Mrs. Franka Eko Damachi Vs Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba, Nicolas Damachi, Kalibe Damachi & ors,” a statement signed by the Chairman of the Calabar branch of Liwu Bebuabong, Sir Gabriel Awafung and the Secretary, Dr. Ben Ugbong, issued after an extraordinary emergency meeting.

The Liwu Bebuabong resolved that;

“1. The remains of our late brother, Prof. Ukandi G. Damachi shall be taken home and laid to rest at No. 5 Bishiri Road, Obudu on the 15th of April, 2023 according to Bette burial rites (Afele heh itang).

“2. Thereafter, various committees shall be set up to come up with an itinerary for the honoring/celebration of his life.

“3. The tentative date shall be in September 2023 (a specific date shall be widely publicized and communicated to our well-wishers, Late Professor Ukandi’s Associates, and Government officials).

“4. Bebuabong Community shall not interfere with his wife, Mrs. Franka Damachi in whatever she intends to do between now and when he shall be laid to rest, but within the confines of Bette burial rites.

“5. All individuals and Organizations associated with the late Professor Ukandi Godwin Damachi will be informed accordingly.”

An expert in industrial relations, Professor Damachi was an executive member of the International Industrial Relations Association, IIRA; served at different times as President of the Nigeria Industrial Relations Association, NIRA; Chairman of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies at Ilorin, Consultant to the Federal Ministry of Labour, Adviser to the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, NECA, Adviser to the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, as well as Consultant to the International Labour Organisation, ILO.

His intervention is said to have ensured the memo from the former Group Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Imo Itsueli to the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida brought the idea of 1.5 percent derivation and the setting up of the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC which later morphed into the Niger Delta Development Commission.

He also served in the Vision 2010 think tank and in different capacities in Cross River State and rose to the position of Dean of the Lagos Business School.

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