PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday condoled with the families, government and people of Abia, Delta and Rivers States on the deaths of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, and a literary icon, Elechi Amadi. In a statement by his senior special assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president said he received with profound sadness, the death of Maduekwe who also served as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada. “In all his years of service to Nigeria as a diplomat, minister, politician and ambassador, President Buhari says that Maduekwe was an ardent believer in the unity of Nigeria and gave all to that pursuit,” the statement said. President Buhari also noted that as Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Maduekwe’s relentless call to citizen diplomacy and for Nigerians to be treated with dignity across the globe would continue to inspire other patriotic people to promote a positive international image of the country. The president also paid tribute to Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Nikki Tobi, describing him as a brave jurist who served Nigeria creditably and brought his many years of training, knowledge and wisdom to the bench. Buhari also joined the literary and academic community in mourning Amadi whose writings and postulations as a novelist, poet and playwright, he said, introduced many generations of the world to the vibrant Nigerian culture. The statement added: “In paying homage to the man of letters, visionary and venerated elder who dedicated his life to values of peace, equality, dignity and the reading culture in Nigeria, the president believes that the passing away of Amadi is as much a loss to Nigeria and Africa as it is to the world. “The president affirms that the outpouring of grief and tribute across Nigeria and beyond is a testament of the high degree of respect and acceptance Amadi commanded around the world. “He prays that God will grant the souls of the departed citizens eternal rest and comfort their families, friends and admirers.” Also, Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday expressed grief over the death of two notable Nigerians, Captain Elechi Amadi and Chief Ojo Maduekwe. While Amadi, one of Africa’s finest novelists, poets and dramatists, passed on at 82 years, Maduekwe, a former minister who took charge of three federal ministries at different times and later served as Nigeria’s ambassador to
Canada and secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was 71. Saraki in a statement issued by his special adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described Elechi as a literary giant whose impactful life would continue to be of immense educational benefit to Nigerians and the world at large. The Senate president noted that Amadi contributed greatly to national development having served in the Nigerian Army, and also extolled the virtues of Maduekwe describing him as a “social-political engineer” whose exploits in the nation’s political landscape would remain evergreen in the annals of the country. “Maduekwe was a brilliant, erudite and hardworking politician, a man of fine intellectual background who was not shy to take a position on serious national issues and will articulate the position to the admiration of both his supporters and opponents,” the Senate president stated. “It is most regrettable that both Elechi and Maduekwe left us at a time their intelligence and wealth of experience is needed to advance education, deepen our democracy and political culture,” Saraki said. While calling on the families of the departed men to be comforted by the exemplary lifestyles of the late ambassadors of the country, he called on the federal government to immortalise them, also praying God to grant their souls eternal rest. Jonathan mourns Former President Goodluck Jonathan was not left out, as he yesterday also lamented the death of the secretary of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, and foremost writer, Elechi Amadi, describing the exit of both elder statesmen as a sad loss for the country. The former president, who stated this in separate messages of condolence to the families of the deceased, emphasised that both men made significant contributions to Nigeria’s growth and development. Jonathan described Chief Maduekwe as “a nationalist, foremost administrator and intellectual giant who contributed so much to the task of nation building.” In a statement issued by Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, the former president’s media adviser, Jonathan stated further: “In service to fatherland, Maduekwe at different times held critical leadership positions where he made significant contributions to Nigeria’s growth and the evolution of the nation’s democracy. “He was urbane in his disposition to politics and was blessed with an uncommon clarity of mind and thought which he freely deployed in the search for answers to the nation’s development challenges.
“Whether as a lawyer, politician or diplomat, Maduekwe was deeply committed to the process of building national and international bridges for which he will always be remembered.” Speaking on the demise of the literary giant and renowned journalist, the former president said: “Amadi was a renowned writer and patriot who served his country meritoriously, through his literary works and exemplary performance in public service. “As an author, his works helped change the story of a continent by rendering accurate accounts of profound African life and traditions as a counterpoise to inexact stereotypes. “A man of many parts, Amadi equally acquitted himself as a soldier, educator and dedicated administrator who was committed to the path of peace, unity and progress.” Atiku expresses shock Former vice president and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock and disbelief at the sudden death of former Foreign Affairs and Transport Minister and PDP chieftain, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, and foremost writer, Elechi Amadi. The duo died on Wednesday. Atiku in a press statement released by his media office describes the sudden death of Chief Maduekwe, who also served as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, as a rude shock. The Turaki Adamawa said Chief Maduekwe in recent times had remained his ebullient and energetic self and did not cut the image of someone who had any ailment that could result in death, adding that Nigeria had lost one of its flamboyant politicians. “Ojo and I fortuitously met in November last year at the premiere of the documentary film, ‘Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis,’ at the Yar’Adua Centre. He had just concluded his duty tour as Nigeria’s ambassador to Canada. He looked well and was as at his engaging.” Atiku noted that the former diplomat was a hardworking and tireless person who always brought deep intellect and sound analysis to the dissection of problems and their solution, and that his strong and reliable intellect was one of those attributes that endeared him to many members of the then ruling PDP. According to the former vice president, for the energetic lawyer and orator, Ojo Maduekwe, to have succumbed to death at this critical time is too much a loss for the people of Abia State, where he hails from, and the nation at large. Stating that the accomplished lawyer and politician would be sorely missed, the Turaki Adamawa prayed for the repose of his soul
and urged his family, the people of Abia State and his numerous political associates to stoically bear the irredeemable loss, as the fate of all mortals lied with the Creator. In same vein, the former vice president described the death of Nigerian author, Elechi Amadi, as a great loss to Nigeria and to the world of literature. Atiku expressed his condolences to the family of Elechi Amadi, the government and of people of Rivers State, and to all Nigerians, many of whom grew up reading Amadi’s books as part of their recommended texts in schools. “Just like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and several eminent writers of their generation, Elechi Amadi made Nigeria proud, causing our literary star to shine all over the world.” He also commiserated with all lovers of Nigerian literature around the world, reminding them that even though Amadi might have left this world, his works would live on forever. “Elechi Amadi’s books such as The Concubine are well-known around the world and have been recommended texts for literature students in schools across Africa,” he said, adding that “even with his death, we still have his books to enjoy.” Atiku also prayed that God would grant the family of the late literary icon the grace to bear the loss. Okowa moruns too Also, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State said he received with sadness and an immense feeling of great national loss news of the death of former Transport and Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe. A statement issued in Asaba yesterday by his chief press secretary, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, said the governor expressed sadness over the news of the death of the secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, whom he described as one of Nigeria’s finest politicians. According to the statement, Governor Okowa, who described the late politician as an epitome of integrity, extended special condolences to the Abia State government, the PDP and the family of the late politician. “On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, I extend my sincere condolences to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the people of Abia State, as well as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the passage of the beloved, urbane, cerebral and quintessential politician whose contributions to democratic rule in Nigeria remains indelible,” he stated. The statement said Governor Okowa joined the family in mourning the politician who would be long remembered and celebrated for his worthy service to his fatherland in several capacities.

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