Immediate past Governor of Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and wife of late senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, Mrs. Joan Nzeribe were among hundreds of well-wishers present at the Abuja-residence of former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Hon. Gerald Irona, Monday evening, to celebrate his 57th birthday.
The leaders took turns to eulogize the former Deputy Governor, Hon. Gerald Irona, for his uprightness and political sagacity.
Speaking at the event, immediate past Governor of Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, described Hon. Irona as a dependable and trustworthy partner.
According to him, his choice of Irona as his Deputy Governorship candidate in 2019 was based on his track record of uprightness, reiterating his confidence in him.
Adding his voice, former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Jeff Ojinika expressed gratitude to God for the life of the former Deputy Governor, describing him as a true friend.
According to him, “I have known him for nearly three decades. I have seen him at different points; in and out of power; in difficulty and in affluence. I can tell you that he is a fantastic guy. He is someone you will always want to have as a friend. He is very forthright; very honest; very transparent and anything he tells you; you can go to bank with it.”
Also speaking, wife of late maverick politician, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, Mrs. Joan Nzeribe described Hon. Irona as a “wonderful son.”
“Gerald is like my son, my husband’s very good political son. He is a good man, and he is very capable. His political operations on ground are great. He is a wonderful son.”
Similarly, former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Henry Nwawuba described the celebrant as an entrepreneur par excellence, adding that his legacies at the National Assembly remain reference points.
“I have a lot of respect for him. I have also enjoyed very cordial relationship with him. He is someone that I admire a lot. He has been on roads that I dream of being on. He was in the House of Representatives before me, an entrepreneur par excellence, a former Deputy Governor, and a dear friend. I like his doggedness. I love his way of handling issues. He is outspoken and you will always know where he stands on issues. He is very experienced in matters of life generally. He has also distinguished himself in business. He left great legacies at the National Assembly, particularly when he served as deputy chairman, Oil and Gas committee at the House of Representatives.”
Responding to questions from newsmen, senatorial aspirant under the People’s Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. ThankGod Ezeani, said “he is a man that if he tells you yes, his yes is yes. He provides leadership for us in Orlu zone. He is a good man. He is forthright. When he is with you, he will stand by you, both in difficulty and in happiness.”
Also speaking, a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe said the former Deputy Governor, Gerald Irona “is a very solid character. He has a lot of local appeals. We share the same political mentor – late Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe. He relates very well with his people and has good knowledge of his terrain.”
Similarly, ex-lawmaker, Hon. Mayor Eze described the former Deputy Governor as a trustworthy man.
According to him, “people came in from different parts of Nigeria, just to be here. What is happening here today is the celebration of a man that is trustworthy; a man you can rely on. We are celebrating honour and integrity. The former Governor, Hon. Ihedioha captured everything about him and his positive qualities.”
“People must know that there is life after politics. When you leave power, the quality of people that come to you is an assessment of how you conducted yourself while in power. He is a good man.”
Other dignitaries present at the event include, but not limited to the member representing Isu/Njaba/Nkwerre/Nwangele Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo, former member representing Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Our West Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Kingsley Uju, communication and public relations expert, Dr. Walter Duru, among others.
Similar birthday celebrations were held in Owerri, Imo State capital and Oguta, his hometown, in honour of the former Deputy Governor.