SAMJACK OKORO’S BURIAL:  LESSONS  TO LEARN FROM OZB’S CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP  BEYOND POLITICS AND POWER

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Night had beaten off bright day, and taken possession of his temporary world as a pilgrim.  He could scarcely distinguish the transparent windows from the opaque wall of his chamber at the hospital. After weeks and months of battling with sickness, the curtains of life were  drawn on Chief Samjack Ikechi Okoro (Akuzuoha); as he  finally gave up the ghost . Although, not as a victim of death but as a valiant since he had gone to answer the  compulsory call of life.

Exactly on Monday, November 20, 2023, Chief Samjack Okoro passed on to the great beyond at the age of 63 years;  being born on July 30,  1960, leaving behind his lovely wife, Lolo Chioma Okoro, four beautiful children,  and a host of other  relations.

Having lost his father at  a very young  age of 7,  and as the only surviving son in a family of four wherein his elder brother, Willy Okoro, and second daughter, Charity Okoro, had earlier died. Life became rather too challenging and never a  bed of roses,  as he plied  different  trades to see himself through primary and  secondary educational levels, even to territiary institution before delving into politics of which  he became one of the  prominent figures in the political leadership of Njaba LGA; having been appointed Executive Assistant on Political Affairs to the former Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Chief Achike Udenwa; a former Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters to the former Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; a former Special Adviser on Local Government Affairs to the former Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Anayo Rochas Okorocha; a former Transition Committee Chairman of Njaba LGA, among numerous political parties’ appointments.

The Umunam Atta Njaba born ace politician and respected community leader, late  Chief Samjack Okoro (Akuzuoha) , was  a very ambitious, entreprenurial, honest and upright man who, during his days  in government, used his good positions to positively impact alot of lives around him; empowering  over 500 Njaba people  with job opportunities while giving financial assistance to as many as as his strength could carry.  Late Chief Samjack Okoro, no doubt, played politics of humanity,  championed a new course of poverty alleviation,   proactively enagged the youths,  and related so well with the downtrodden at the grassroots. Little wonder, his name reverberated so well  in Njaba as people across party lines attended his funeral to pay their last respect to a broad-minded politician and good family man.

One outstanding Imo serial entrepreneur and political leader that has distinguished himself in the service of God and humanity beyond politics is,  Rt. Hon. Ozurigbo  Ugonna (OZB). Our findings have in good authority that  all through the periods the late Chief Samjack Ikechi Okoro was in the hospital, OZB was in constant touch with the family visiting them whenever he was in town.

OZB arrived the Aladimma Mortuary, Owerri, on Thursday morning,  April 4, 2024 , early  enough to carry the corpse alongside the deceased family. Tenaciously followed the ambulance and made different stop-overs;  starting from Njaba Local Government Council where the corpse of late Chief Samjack Okoro was received by Mr. Godwin Nneke, the Director of Administration & Social Services (DASS),  on behalf of management of the council. A  stop over at his maternal home; another  stopover at the   Obi of HRH Eze Valentine Uchenna  Nwaka (Igwe Nweremadu l of Umunam Atta Autonomous Community); lying in state at his compound before procedding to the St. Michael’s And All Angels Anglican Church for the requiem mass until the committal or internment.

By practically mobilizing his army of grassroots supporters, different support groups,  and leadership of his political structure across Nkwerre/Isu/Nwangele/Njaba Federal Constituency to participate very prominently in the burial ceremony of late High Chief Samjack Ikechi Okoro despite having been removed from office on December 19, 2023 , through an Appeal Court judgement, Rt. Hon. Ozurigbo Ugonna has continued to prove that he is that friend who sticks more closer than a brother both in good times  and bad times.

On arrival in Umunam Atta Njaba for the funeral ceremony of his good friend and political ally- late Chief Samjack Okoro , Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo was almost mobbed by the surging crowd who tropped out to welcome the former  federal lawmaker who defined robust, effective, and inclusive representation as he sees Njaba as his second home.

OZB’s political ideology should be a case study to students of Political Science in higher institutions of learning. His sense of humility, simplicity, accessibility, and ready- to- assist leadership disposition is better experienced than read on pages of newspapers. OZB is not an ordinary man; he is a force of nature , a beacon of light in a world often shrouded in darkness. His presence during the burial ceremony was a huge relief to the bereaved family as he spent quality time and also committed resources to ensure that the  burial was successful. OZB celebrates with those who celebrate and also mourn with those who mourn; wether in power or out of power. This is simply his nature.

He transcended the confines of partisan politics to play politics of humanity. In the world of business, he transcended the confines of communications , hospitality, philantrophy, emerging as a powerful socio-economic and political influencer in participatory politics and leadership whose impact knows no bounds. OZB is more than a visionary; he is a trailblazer, an advocate of good governance and developmental politics. He believes in changing the narrative, and was relentless during his days in the House of Represenatives to boldly write the name of NINN Federal Constituency on the  Nigeria’s political landscape through his numerous people- oriented projects.

During his brief speech as he led the OZB Political Family to register their condolences to the bereaved family and also to present their gifts; Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo stated that the late Chief Samjack Okoro was more than a big brother, but a trusted political ally who played strategic roles towards his emergence in Njaba LGA  during the 2019 and 2023 House of Represenatives’  elections. The former federal lawmaker, Ozurigbo, maintained that the late political maverick, Samjack,  was a very honest man who matched his words with action in every political outing, regretting that he would be missed so greatly by his family members and political associates. He however, described the late Chief Samjack Okoro (Akuzuoha) as a dogged fighter, an astute politician, a devoute Christian and a loving family man.

In his own remark, Hon. Kelvin Chino Obioha,  Director General of OZB Campaign Organization and a critical stakeholder in the political leadership of Njaba LGA, while commiserating with the deceased family and Okoro Dynasty in Umunam Atta Community,  also regretted that they have lost one of their  respected  leaders, a strong believer in the political leadership style of Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo (OZB).

Chief Barr. Reuben Okoro , elder brother of late Chief Samjack Ikechi Okoro was in lost of words as his younger brother was finally laid to rest; asking God to give his immediate family and the entire Okoro dynasty the fortitude to bear the  irreparable loss.

Speaking with the publisher of 4th Estate Reporters, Njoku Macddonald Obinna, after playing host to the retinue of the entourage of Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo; Ikenna Power Okoro , a family member of the late Chief Samjack Ikechi Okoro expressed sadness that his late uncle and a respected community leader, Chief Samjack Okoro, died at a time that his wealth of wisdom and political sagacity are still much needed to guide him and the new generation of political leaders from Njaba LGA;. affirming that he  would be fondly remembered for his intergrity and commitment to progressive politics.

The burial ceremony was well attended by family members, friends and political allies of the late Chief Samjack Okoro across party lines as our media lens spotted a  former member that represented Njaba State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uju Onwudiwe, Ph.D,  alongside her  successor, Hon. Ozioma Bennett Worship Ebonine and Dr. Austin Agbahiwe, while Hon. Hippolite Ndukwe, a  former Town Union President, Umunam Atta, Njaba led the leadership of the community to the burial ceremony.

Late High Chief Samjack Ikechi Okoro (Akuzuoha),  is survived by his wife, Lolo Chioma Okoro, Okoro Jackson Ugonnaya, Okoro Adannaya Favour, Okoro Chigoziirim Precious, Okoro Chibueze Goodluck, Mrs. Felicia Okorie, sister, Chief Barr. R. A. Okoro, brother, Hon. Tony Okoro, and a host of other relations.

He is so greatly loved,  and would be so greatly missed.

Author Credit:
*👔|Njoku Macdonald Obinna*

Media Consultant|Newspaper Columnist|Public Analyst|PR- Expert

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