The Government of Akwa Ibom State has formally announced the death of a former Military Governor of the state, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd.).
In a statement signed by the secretary to the state government (SSG), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, the PANDEF chairman died at night on the eve of Christmas.
The statement read, “information from the Isolation center where he was admitted and managed indicates that the first indigenous military Governor of our state and leader of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) died from complications resulting from COVID-19 infection. Requisite protective protocol and contact tracing have been activated.
“Otuekong Nkanga was the Director General of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Divine Mandate Campaign organization 2015 & 2019. He was also the Chairman of Ibom Airport Development company and Ibom Air.
“The Governor, Udom Emmanuel is greatly saddened by the news of his passing and condoles with the bereaved family. Consequently, the governor has declared a seven-day period of mourning effective Saturday, 26th December,2020. Flags are to be flown at half mast for the entire duration of the mourning in the state”.
The former military administrator of the state was aged 68 and served the state from September 1990 to January 1992, during the regime of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida. He retired as an Air Commodore in the Nigerian Air Force.
As the chairman of PANDEF, Nkanga was 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 (NDP) 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 also appointed as the director-general for the campaign organisation of former Governor Godswill Akpabio in 2011, as well as the Director-General for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Campaign Organisation in 2015 and 2019 respectively.