As he was laid to rest in his ancestral home: Ikot Nya, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Feb. 06, 2021, hardly anyone in the mammoth crowd that gathered to pay their last respects could hold back tears especially whenever the word, “late’ was mentioned against his name.

The flood of condolences poured in from close associates, admirers, family members, colleagues and members of the public.

The former Head of State of the Federal Republic, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Rtd whom Nkanga served as the commander of the Presidential Air Fleet during his administration described the deceased as a fine gentleman, who did not only serve the country well but served from his heart. 

The State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel described the late Nkanga as a friend, elder brother and dependable ally.

The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Moses Ekpo, pointed out that Nkanga deployed the opportunity of his first and only political appointment as Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom State in securing a head-start for the people of the state. 

Paying tribute to the late chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF), former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, described the late Nkanga as a patriot, astute administrator and a pragmatic politician of no mean repute and declared his death a huge loss to the nation. 

Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, who spoke on behalf of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) of which the late Nkanga was the Chairman, lamented that the Niger Delta region of the country has missed an advocate. 

A vocal champion of the Niger Delta

As the chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF), Nkanga demonstrated his patriotism by remaining vocal in the campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria and the development of the country’s Niger Delta region. He remained consistent in expressing his disappointment about the non-completion of the East-West Road, which is meant to link together the states in the Niger Delta. He was also noted for his repeated call on oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to relocate their head offices to the region, to enable them to contribute to the growth and development of the region which he said was bearing the brunt of the nation’s survival. 

A Sterling Record Of Service

Nkanga who rose to the peak of his military career as Commander of the Presidential Air fleet brought his wealth of experience to bear when he was appointed Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Airport Implementation Committee in 2007. Not just did he work to see to the actualization of the Victor Attah International Airport on November 26, 2009, but also worked towards the actualization of a state-owned airline for Akwa Ibom State. 

Until his death as a result of complications from Covid-19 on the 2020 Christmas eve, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga was Chairman, Board of Directors for both Ibom Airlines Limited (Ibom Air) and Ibom Airport Development Company Limited (IADCL).

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