June 3, is a weighty day in the lives of Abugu family members. They are in constant remembrance of their late father, brother, husband, friend and benefactor who lost his life in the ill-fated Dana Airplane that crashed at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, killing all 153 passengers on board and 10 more on the ground.
On June 3, 2018, when the family members gathered in Lagos to remember him, they reasoned that with his legacy sustained, through his foundation, Dr. Ike Abugu Trust Fund, the loss would be less weighty on them.
According to Abugu familyâ€™s opening speech, â€œOur dear friend, colleague and associate, Dr. Ike Godwin Abugu, was aboard that aircraft on a flight from Abuja to Lagos. He was among those who perished in the sad and lamentable incident. It was a national calamity, which has continued to reverberate until this day. Ikeâ€™s promising life was gruesomely cut short in its prime, at a time his star was rising in the firmament. It is six years today. How time flies. But we remember. We will never forget. We are gathered here today because we remember; we have not forgotten.â€
One of Abuguâ€™s associates and member of the foundation, Professor Nick Idoko, told the gathering that immediately Abuguâ€™s painful death, â€œwe put together a foundation, named Dr. Ike Abugu Trust Fund. This was geared towards raising fund for the education and upkeep of the young family he left behind. There were pledges in the heat of the moment but today, the Trust Fund is in red.â€
While calling on the Enugu State Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and other good-spirited Nigerians to save the foundation, Idoko lamented that Abugu left behind a young wife, three little children, and an aged mother who need proper care and love.
According to him, â€œHe (Abugu) had ambition for his family; to give his children the best care and education, nothing less than what he got. The children are growing rapidly but no father to propel them. Abugu, who hailed from Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, was involved in many important projects and programmes at both the federal and state levels, especially in his home state of Enugu. He is no longer here to continue with those noble causes. At this juncture, we call on His Excellency, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State to take pity on the family of this star whose light was dimmed in high noon.
â€œWe are, however, grateful to NASME for its kind support. We also give our kudos to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research. We are thankful to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Trust Fund, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju. We also use this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to individuals and groups for their unflinching support thus far. We need to fund the foundation, nevertheless. We call on Ikeâ€™s numerous friends, colleagues and associates to lend a helping hand. They will be recognized.
â€œThe Trust Fund is an incorporated trustee duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The details are; Dr. Ike Abugu Trust Fund, Fidelity Bank, Account No. 4110037339. Write a cheque or do a funds transfer today. God bless you as you give with a large heart.â€
At the event which was enveloped in empathy, late Abuguâ€™s young wife, Mrs. Uzomaka, told journalists that since his demise, life has not been easy for the family he left behind, â€œbut with the support of some family members and friends, who have been assisting us to take care of the children, we have been coping with life since then. We give glory to God! However, we are appealing to those who made pledges to redeem them in order to allow us pay the children school fees, feeding and their upkeep.â€
Also, Abuguâ€™s younger brother who was appreciative of Prof. Idoko for all his efforts in setting up the Trust Fund and the support has offered them so far, said: â€œPersonally, we have been working very closely with him to reach out to our late brother’s friend. Promises were made on the day of burial. Some have tried to redeem, while we are still waiting on a good number of them.
â€œAs a father figure, nobody can play his role, therefore when we come around we try to do the best we can. If you look closely, you would realise that a vacuum has been created. We are hoping that all will be well, and by this call, many that might have forgotten their promises, would wake up to their pledges and redeem them.â€