By Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo
The Deputy Chief of Staff in the Abia State Governor’s Office, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai, is dead.
He died in the early hours of yesterday after a sudden illness.
The death of Ukpai, who has been a visible and strong member of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s government, was announced in a terse statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu.
According to the statement, “It is with sadness and deep sense of loss that Abia State Government wishes to announce the death of Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai, the deputy chief of staff, Office of the Governor, who passed on in the early hours of today (yesterday) after a brief illness.”
Kalu said the state Governor, Ikpeazu, “is in deep shock, as he mourns the untimely exit of Ukpai who has been a long term associate, friend and irreplaceable partner in progress.”
The government spokesman stated that the late deputy chief of staff “will be sorely missed by everyone in government in particular and Abia people in general.”
While condoling with the immediate family of the deceased, the people of Ohafia Local Government Area and the Abia people in general as well as the state government prayed to God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
It was gathered that late Ukpai, popularly known as Ototo, took ill last Monday night and was taken to the hospital in Umuahia, where he gave up the ghost in the early hours of yesterday.
Meanwhile the residence of Ukpai, who was a well-known political strategist and grassroots mobiliser, has continued to receive a throng of sympathisers since the news of his death broke out.