Tobias Idika’s death robbed the Igbo diaspora community in general and especially that Kano of a dogged, committed resolute and indefatigable fighter who loved the Igbo nation like he loved to live. Idika was one who, in Igariwey’s words, understands Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo as the custodian of Igbo priorities, aspirations and destiny.
It was fairly obvious to see that apart from virtually setting up Ohanaeze in Kano, he was committed to constantly reforming and consolidating it. His dream for Ohanaeze in rhymed with mine and that of the national leadership which was, ‘for Ohanaeze to emerge and remain a veritable instrument that will give authoritative voice to social, cultural, economic and political issues that affect the generality of Nd’Igbo at home and abroad (especially, here in Kano), young, old, rich, poor, elite or ordinary; a body that will act in concert with others to elevate and promote the aspirations of Nd’Igbo; challenge any encroachment upon our interest and stand up against those who might be tempted to bully, intimidate or exploit our sons and daughters wherever they may be.’
Virtually unarmed, Idika fought like a swarm of bees for the Igbo in Kano in every single episode of affliction that beset them. He instinctively knew that the Ohanaeze Presidency was a deep-seated intellectual stool apart from being a bastion of fearless, constructive, diplomatic and even conciliatory engagement with foes and friends of the Igbo in Kano, as the case may be. Whatever he lacked in these complex pursuits of leading Igbo defence and projection in Kano, he was never shy or reluctant to respectfully invite notable Igbo sons and daughters in Kano and elsewhere for guidance and participation. He was a man who knew how to get around him, men who were greater than himself. As we mourn his demise, one prays that God will accept his soul because he gave his life fighting for one of God’s favourite people on earth—the Igbo people.
Chief Koffy Udeagha,
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano chapter.