Buhari, Gov Emmanuel Eulogize Late Clement Isong
President Mohammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians both the present and coming generations to aspire to approximate late Dr Clement Isong's virtues and ideals.
Buhari made the call in a goodwill message felicitating with The Clement Isong Foundation (TCIF) on the launch and public presentation of the book entitled: Dr Clement Nyong Isong, A Life of Integrity, Discipline and Public service held in Abuja recently.
In the message signed by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, the President recalled that Isong managed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the country's Civil War, as the second indigenous governor and did it so excellently.
The President said the late Dr. Isong also left his footprints in the sands of time as governor of the old Cross River State which included the present Akwa Ibom State. He attested to the fact that late Dr. Isong, former governor of CBN (1967-1975) and of the old Cross River State (1979-1983), was a rare Nigerian.
As the strides of late Isong were chronicled and preserved for posterity through a book, Buhari commended the Clement Isong Foundation for the initiative , saying the late Isong was a man imbued with virtues of honesty, integrity, accountability and was a resourceful, painstaking thorough public servant, who served the country with his heart and might.
Similarly, Gov Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State in his remark said Dr Clement Isong who was being celebrated shared a lot in common with him (the governor). According to him, late Dr. Isong and I are from the same community. As a matter of fact, his village and mine is a 10 minutes drive. I as he was a finance service expert rising to high positions in the industry.
Emmanuel said, "Dr Isong was persuaded to join the political race in 1978 after His sterling career as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, becoming the first civilian governor of old Cross River State by October1, 1979, the position he held till October1, 1983."
He recalled. "in 2013 I was also persuaded to join the public service as the secretary to the Akwa Ibom government and on the April 11, 2015, I was elected the governor of Akwa Ibom , a similar attribute."
He paid glowing tributes to the late Isong for piloting the affairs of CBN during the Nigerian Civil War without borrowing for Nigeria to prosecute the war.
"Let me say that it is on record he ran the Nigerian economy on a sound fundamental growth that the nation never borrowed a dime, a kobo to prosecute the war. What a transparent leader he was," Udom said.
The governor said though such publication on the legacy of the former governor of CBN and old Cross River was overdue, it became necessary to commend the efforts of The Clement Isong Foundation as well as the author of the book, for the initiative, describing the book as a masterpiece legacy of the former financial service expert.
The chairman on the occasion and former Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, represented by Senator Olabisi Durusimi, who extolled the virtues of late Isong, said Isong was his boss and a friend as he was happy to be part of the family.
He said the event was specially organized by The Clement Isong Foundation to honour the life and time of a great scholar, a reputable economist, a mentor, a statesman, a father, friend and a community leader.
He stated that the chairmanship of the occasion would have been best fitted the chairman of the occasion , former Head of States and former boss of the subject for the gathering, Gowon, declaring that the general had sent in his apology for not being able to attend the occasion due to some unforeseen circumstances beyond his control.
According to him, the late Isong was appointed the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by Gen Yakubu Gowon in 1967 and his tenure as the head of the CBN of Nigeria came to an end when the amiable Head of the State was overthrown in 1975." Both men worked together and enjoyed mutual respect and so it was natural to have invited General Gowon to serve as the chairman of the occasion.
He recalled that the late Isong whose beautiful signature was in the Nigerian currency for about nine years was his boss at the CBN and a friend, saying he lived a life of integrity and discipline.
While commending the foundation for the book launch, the chairman called for the support and purchase of the book as a mark of respect to preserve the legacy of late Dr Clement Isong.
Dignitaries who spoke at the occasion included former governor, Obong Victor Attah, former minister of petroleum, Otuekong Don Etiebet and chairman, Board of Trustees, TCIF, Professor Akpan Ekpe.
Others were: the book reviewer, Professor Effiong Johnson of the University of Uyo, wife of the late Dr Clement Isong, Obonganwan Nne Isong, National Assembly members, government officials and persons from the private sector.