The Chairman of Nigerian leading airline, Air Peace Limited, Mr. Allen Onyema, has said the company will ensure the family of the late Mr. Chris Iwarah, the airline’s former Corporate Communication Manager who died in a ghastly motor accident at the Mangoro area of Dopemu, along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in Lagos, on June 7, is adequately catered for.
Allen described the death of Chris as one of the saddest day in his life and explained that staff of the airline were still finding it hard to come to terms with the demise of the ex-spokesman, whom he described as a consummate lawyer, journalist and cooperate communication expert who worked tirelessly to positively project the image of the airline.
The Air Peace Chairman, while speaking at the burial ceremony of the late Chris in his home town, Eku in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta state on Saturday, recounted how he received the sad news from his wife on the fateful day and rushed back to Lagos from his home town in Anambra state to coordinate the medical service been given to his spokesman affirming that the company was planning to immediately to fly the deceased abroad for further treatment before he gave up the ghost.
In an emotional-laden speech, the Air Peace Chairman, who led a delegation of over 50 members of staff of the airline to the burial ceremony said he has lost a dependable ally and disciplined soldier who always stood for justice, fairness and equality among staff irrespectively of tribe, religion and position.
Allen, who is the Chairman of Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria, said “l am yet to see a young man with the quality of my wonderful late friend, Chris. He is one whom l delegates multiple tasks to and goes to sleep knowing that those assignments are done deals. He exudes passion for whatever you commit into his hands to carry out. He was super intelligent, a hard worker, multi-skilled, extremely dedicated”.
He added: “l closed from work by 2.am and each time l look through my cameras, l see Chris still moving from one office to the other at such time just to make sure that everything is going according to plan even those outside the purview of his office. If there is one thing l admired most about him, it is his fearlessness, he is a soldier who takes the bullets for the company most times, he looks at me and tells me, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect Sir, l disagree with you on this and this is the way l think we have to do this things and always, his suggestions and advice are right”
According to Allen, “on that fateful day, l was already preparing to fly Chris oversea for the best medical services he could get anywhere, but God knows best, we cannot question him. I will ensure his family gets the best of support in life and l will lend supports to anything that Chris represents.”
He added that Nigeria has lost an upwardly mobile, fearless and courageous future leader whose interest in championing justice for the oppressed and less privilege and victimized members of the society is legendary.
In his tribute, the immediate past Editor of Guardian Newspapers, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo, said few youths with the sterling quality of the late Chris Iwara exist in Nigeria just as he said he lacked words to describe his present feelings.
Ogbodo, who spoke on behalf of Atamu Social Club of Nigeria, a foremost social cultural group of the Urhobo nation said “the late Chris was a son to me; a bright and shining star has been shot down, the Urhobo nation has just lost one of its brightest rising stars. Eku town has lost its best advocate and defender while the Atamu has been denied a versatile and irreplaceable son and leader”.
He added that “Chris was a Nigerian who fight for and defend the oppressed and a voice for the downtrodden. The Legal profession will miss one of its finest breeds while the media profession; the Baptist church will also miss its best hand, devout and staunch disciple of Christ. But Heaven just gained an Angel and what wisdom and fortitude have mere mortals like us to question the deeds of the Almighty God?
Ogbodo, affirmed that, “the late Chris Iwara is a rare breed, an irreplaceable and indescribable genius, a man of many parts. A young man full of life and energy. No one dare makes imputations or conjectures to belittle him or infringes his rights or those around him, yet he is the gentle and respectful young man you will ever come across.”