Ibori mourns as Sunny Odogwu dies at 87 - Trends and Politics


Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Ibori mourns as Sunny Odogwu dies at 87

A Nigerian businessman, Chief Sunny Odogwu is dead. Odogwu was said to have died in his home on Monday.
Odogwu hails from Delta state and holds a high ranking traditional title of Ide Ahaba of Asaba.
He had his secondary school education at Ilesha Grammar School, Osun state and thereafter joined an insurance firm to work as a trainee.
The Delta-born high chief later travelled abroad for further studies.
Odogwu established the Sunny Iwedike Odogwu (SIO) Group of Companies, a firm with investment in property development, shipping, finance, industrial relations and hotel management.
He also established Robert Dyson and Diket, an insurance brokerage firm.
Odogwu was the publisher of now-defunct Post Express Newspapers.

He is survived by his wife, Theresa and nine children.
Former Delta State governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori described the death of Chief Sunny Iwedike Odogwu on Monday night,  as a monumental loss to the Anioma people, Delta state and Nigeria as a whole. In a statement signed by Tony Eluemunor, his Media Assistant, Chief Ibori said that “though I was a much younger man than Chief Odowgu, he related closely with me as a friend and Governor of Delta State from 1999 to 2007. He was my adviser in chief during my campaigns in 1999. Ide Ahaba, Chief Sunny Odogwu who was at the time already a house hold name in Nigeria and one of the richest Nigerians alive was humble enough to strike real friendship with me. I benefitted greatly from his advice. His desire was a fast-track development of Delta state which was just a few years old when I became Governor. He made it his duty to help me understand the complexity of our dear state, Delta.
He said: “the late Chief Odogwu was among the first generation of businessmen to challenge the expatriates in specialized businesses such as insurance and shipping.  Even when the insurance sector of the Nigerian economy was under the control of the white colonialists, Chief Odowgu was audacious enough to set up Dyson and Dickets Insurance Brokers in 1953. He was about the first Nigerian to set up shop on Broad Street, Lagos.
Chief Odogwu really loved his Anioma people and was one of their first generation leaders. From there flowed his natural love for the Igbo nation, whose pan Igbo Iri-ji Ndigbo (New Yam) festival he helped to introduce by funding the first Iri-ji festival and lecture in Owerri in the late 1980s. He also invited the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to Asaba in 1988 as part of the Bendel East Cultural Association celebrations in an effort to unite Anioma people and link them up with the other parts that speak the Igbo language, in preparation for Gen. Babangida’s military to democracy transition.
Chief Odogwu remained a completely detribalised Nigerian to the end. He maintained strong friendships with people from all across the country and felt at home in any part of Nigeria. He was a lover of the arts and he supported many musicians, painters and sculptors.

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