By Onome Oghenetega
A notable traditional chief in Asaba Kingdom, Emma Okocha, is dead.
Okocha, a journalist and renowned writer, was said to have passed on Monday morning.
He was the Ikemba Asaba, one of the most revered traditional titles in the kingdom.
It was gathered that the deceased was hale and hearty at the time he was last seen last week. It was not clear if the traditional chief was briefly sick before joining his ancestors on Monday.
Some chiefs and residents of Asaba confirmed the development late Monday evening to journalists.
Some residents of Asaba especially within the villages of Umuagwu and Umuonaje expressed shock at the sad news.
The deceased also authored the book “Blood on the Niger” where he unearths and documented atrocities of federal troops during the civil war in Anioma Nation.
Meanwhile, the class of 1977 Mass Communication graduates of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), has commiserated with the Okocha family and the people of Asaba over the development.
The group described the late Okocha as man of wit and letters.
Leader of the group, Emmanuel Obiechina, said Okocha’s “Blood on the Niger” made startling revelations on the Asaba massacre of 1967.
“He was my colleague in a different department at UNN. I can recall vividly in late September 1973, he challenged the sluggish pace used in our registration at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, UNN with the loud quintessential statement, ‘Remove the bureaucratic bottom necks and excessive redtapism’.
“Emma Okocha was a man of wit and letters. He will be sorely missed and greatly remembered as a young patriot, courageous writer, easy-going, not given to filthy lucre, dedicated to humble service and Ahaba to the core,” Obiechina stated.