Uwakwe Abugu.....a Great Honour for a distinguished Journalist by Maurice Okafor

On June 4, the life of  Mr Uwakwe Abugu, a distinguished journalist, was snatched away by the fangs of death from his family and friends, by extension from distinguished men of the pen profession and the Enugu state government. The late Abugu died on active service,holding political appointment  as chief press secretary to the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state before his death.



Late Uwakwe Abugu died in far way India after a protracted illness. His death at an Indian hospital is a clear indication that both his friends,family and the government of Enugu state did all humanly possible to save his life. He attained laudable heights during  his over two decades of  active print Journalism practice from the cradles to become a Senior Correspondent,Regional Editor/Bureau Chief in many National dailies until he  was incorporated into the bandwagon of media managers of Governor Ugwuanyi in June 2015.

His experience and  charisma was manifested as he worked harmoniously with the media team of Governor Ugwuanyi in propagating the open door policy of the present administration in the state. Late Uwakwe Abugu exhibited exemplary character as a public servant. His office was very accessible to every journalist through out the federation either for cross checking of facts or request for additional information on any issue. His death death shook media men both in Enugu and other parts of the country,who have had an opportunity to interact with him. Therefore, it was not surprising why many of his colleagues from far and near, not minding their ever busy schedules carved out time to honour him at his death,by participating in the various programmes of his befitting burial  .
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Barely few minutes after  the official press statement of Abugu's death was mailed to news men in Enugu by the state commissioner for information,Chief Ogbuagu Anikwe. the sad news went hay wire as almost all national dailies posted it online while it also made front page in many National daily newspapers,the next day. The reason was not just basically the chief press secretary to Governor Ugwuanyi but also based  on the fact that the late Abugu had practiced with many national newspapers either as a head office staff or a Correspondent/Bureau chief in some states. His proven experience in field of practice also made him house hold name among many ardent Nigerian Newspaper readers who read his bylines but never met him in person.

 The reputation and dignity he achieved over his three decades of practice revealed more of his acceptance and popularity as his colleagues from the Correspondent chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ, Enugu state chapter, the Enugu state counsel of NUJ as a body, the Government house chapel,NUJ, his office staff and his friends across other professional bodies showed so much concern in the befitting burial accorded to late Uwakwe Abugu.

The various groups joined his family and friends to receive his corpse as it was flown back to Enugu on June 9, through Akanu Ibiam International airport. As soon as his funeral ceremonies was fixed  to hold on Friday, June 29 by the family in conjunction with the state government, the Correspondents chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ, Enugu state chapter,organised a wake keep in honour on Tuesday,June 26.

Distinguished personalities among whom were the state commissioner for Information,Chief Ogbuagu Anikwe, the Special adviser on Media to Governor Ugwuanyi,Mr Louis Amoke, Mr Lawrence Ani and many others from the Government house unit left their offices to join in the wake keep held at the ground floor of  24 Edinburgh road office of the Correspondents' Chapel.

 The next day being Wednesday,June 27, a night of tribute was held in honour of the Late Uwakwe Abugu, at  state council of Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ,located at No 4 Rangers avenue,Independent layout,Enugu.The state Council had equally opened a condolence Register at the council immediately Uwakwe Abugu's death was officially made public. The same was obtained at Government house press unit.

The  tributes and honour for late Uwakwe Abugu from his colleagues in the pen profession did not stop at Enugu, the serene community of Olido in Igbo Eze North local government of Enugu state witnessed visitors from various parts of the country as many senior Journalists and Newspaper Ediotrs from Lagos,Ibadan,Abuja,Onitsha,Owerri, traced out the community to join in paying last respect to their late colleague as his remains and final funeral ceremony was held on Friday,June 29 in his village. Therefore it was not a surprise that  St Patrick's Catholic Olido was filled up with people from all walks of life who attended late Uwakwe's funeral ceremony.

In addition, Other staff of Enugu government house,several commissioners and other political appointees who has worked close to the late Uwakwe Abugu in the past three years he came on board government business as chief Press Secretary to Governor Ugwuanyi,carved out time out of their ever busy schedule in paying respect to their colleague.

Thereafter the funeral mass, the ceremony continued continued at Community primary school Olido,where guests were equally entertained. Governor Ugwuanyi also  arrived at the continuation of the ceremony at Olido primary school to identify with late Abugu's immediate community and family. The Director General of Voice of Nigeria[VON], Mr Osita Okechukwu was also among the dignitaries who attended.

The late Uwakwe Abugu was also home with his people. In as much as the nature of the Journalism profession kept him busy across many cities in the country, He still carved a niche among his people. Brief testimonies in his biography disclosed that he influenced the construction of several classroom blocks in the community primary schools, influenced the attraction of Giant size 500 KVA transformer to Olido and Aguta communities. While many pupils and students  from his community are under his scholarship. What a Rare gem and a distinguished Journalist among his colleagues men.

Adieu Uwakwe Abugu.

Photo of Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (left), consoling the family of Late Mr. Uwakwe Abugu his, Chief Press Secretary during his burial at Olido Enugu-Ezike Igbo-Eze North LGA.
Uwakwe Abugu.....a Great Honour for a distinguished Journalist by Maurice Okafor Uwakwe Abugu.....a Great Honour for a distinguished Journalist by Maurice Okafor Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Friday, July 13, 2018 Rating: 5

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