Members of staff of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have been in a mourning mood following the death of Engr. Anthony Irondi Nwaokoagbara, who until his death in the ill-fated Dana plane was Zonal Operations Controller, Abuja.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, Team Leader, Public Affairs, DPR, Abuja, Eriata Oribhabor, said the news of the Controller's death in the Dana flight hit him like a thunderbolt.
"What will happen to the several people Nwaokoagbara provided succour to in educational scholarships from his hard-earned salary? What will be the fate of the indigent ones who hinged the brightness of their tomorrow on him?" Oribhabor lamented, and added that the late Nwaokoagbara was his community's favourite, whose contributions was yet unrivalled.
He said that although the nation had been thrown into mourning, the suddenness of Nwaokoabara's painful departure had created a deep crack in the hearts of many especially his immediate family, the Obehie-Asa communities of Abia State, where he hails from, staff of the DPR and indeed the ministry of petroleum resources.
The late DPR Controller joined the then Petroleum Inspectorate Division of the NNPC, now Department of Petroleum Resources, in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, on the 4th of August, 1980 where he rose to become Controller until 3rd June, 2012 when he died in the ill-fated plane crash.
"He was a role model and mentor with a difference. He successfully proved that the word father mustn't be looked at from the biological perspective alone. He was a father to all," a somber Oribhabor said.
"But surely we can't question God Almighty, He alone will comfort his dear wife; Barrister (Mrs) Rosemary Uchenna Nwaokoagbara and his children, Ezinne Frances, Nnabuike Anthony, Sochika Christopher and Kelechi Phine as well as others he adopted to lift from the doldrums of poverty," Oribhabor added.