Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has expressed shock over the death of Prof. Austin Chukwu, elder brother to former Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Austin, a literary scholar, died on Monday at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, after a brief illness.

Umahi in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr Emmanuel Uzor, described Austin’s death as a monumental loss to the family, state and Nigeria as a whole.

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Umahi said Austin, a professor of English language and immediate past Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi; was a literary giant and academic guru.

“He contributed immensely to the development of education in Ebonyi and Nigeria in general as he was part of the efforts to re-mould the society especially through arts,” he said.

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The governor prayed God to grant Austin’s soul eternal rest and give his wife Christiana, the entire Chukwu family, relations, friends and well-wishers, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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“I urge them to be consoled with the fact that Austin lived a fulfilled life and impacted his abundant knowledge to the younger generation and the wider society.

“I also urge them to immortalise the late sage by upholding his indelible virtue as a teacher, father and mentor,” he said.