The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ini Okopido, is dead.
Okopido’s death was confirmed in a statement issued in Uyo on Wednesday by the deputy chairman of the party, Mr Ita Udosen.
According to the statement, the late politician passed on at the Ibom Multispecialty Hospital (IBH), Uyo, on Wednesday “after a brief illness”
It read in part: “Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn with his wife, children and family.
“This is a very painful death to the whole of the APC family in Akwa Ibom State in particular, and Nigeria as a whole,” Mr Udosen, a medical doctor, said in the statement.
“Our Chairman was a committed and dedicated progressive and Party loyalist whose ideals were inexorably tied to the philosophy of our great Party. He contributed immensely to the growth of the Party in the last two years he’s been Chairman,” he added.
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The statement then called on party faithfuls to keep the family of late Mr Okopido in their prayers.
In a related development, the National Executive Committee of the APC has expressed shock over the demise of the Party’s Akwa Ibom State Chairman.
The party in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Yekini Nabena, described Okopido as a grassroots politician and a stabilizing force who was playing a critical role in the ongoing reconciliation and repositioning of APC.
While extending condolences to his family and people of Akwa Ibom state over the loss, Nabena said the party chieftain would be sorely missed.
He said: “Our great party has lost a fine gentleman and grassroots politician who was at the forefront of mainstreaming the APC as the party of choice in Akwa Ibom State.
“The late Okopido was a stabilising force who provided a listening ear to all party supporters, members, leaders and other stakeholders not only in Akwa Ibom State, but in the South-South and national level of our party.
“He was a critical partner in the ongoing reconciliation and repositioning efforts being undertaken by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee. He will be sorely missed”. Nabena added.