President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday commiserated with the families, government and people of Abia, Delta and Rivers States on the passing away of their illustrious sons Chief Ojo Maduekwe, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice Nikki Tobi, retired Supreme Court judge and Elechi Amadi, a literary icon.
A statement issued in Abuja by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said the president received the passing of Maduekwe, who also served as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada with profound sadness.
In all his years of service to Nigeria as a diplomat, minister, politician and ambassador, Buhari said Maduekwe was an ardent believer in the unity of Nigeria and gave all to that pursuit.
The president noted that as Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Maduekwe’s relentless call for 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.
Buhari also paid tribute to 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.
The president also joined the literary and academic community in mourning Amadi whose writings and postulations as a novelist, poet and playwright introduced many generations of the world to the vibrant Nigerian culture.
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 believed that the passing away of Amadi was as much a loss to Nigeria and Africa as it was to the world.
The president affirmed that the outpouring of grief and tribute across Nigeria and beyond was a testament of the high degree of respect and acceptance Amadi commanded around the world.
On his part, Jonathan lamented the death of Maduekwe and Amadi, describing their demise as sad losses 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 Maduekwe as “a nationalist, foremost administrator and intellectual giant who contributed so much to the task of nation building.”
In a statement issued by his media adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan stated further that: “In service to his fatherland, Maduekwe, at different times, held critical leadership positions where he made significant contributions to Nigeria’s growth and evolution of the nation’s democracy.
Speaking further on the demise of Amadi who was a 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.
Similarly, Atiku expressed shock and disbelief at the death of Maduekwe.
Atiku, in a statement by his media office, described Maduekwe’s sudden death as a rude shock.
He stated that Maduekwe, who was the Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Canada, recently, had remained his ebullient and energetic self and did not cut the image of a man with any ailment that could result in death, adding that Nigeria has 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 high commissioner to Canada. He looked well and engaging.”
The former vice president also described the death of Elechi Amadi as a great loss to Nigeria and to the world of literature.
Okowa Condoles with Maduekwe, Amadi’s Families
Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday described the late renowned author, poet and novelist, Elechi Amadi, as “a literary giant whose death is a tragic and monumental loss to the literary world.”
In a tribute and condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, the governor extolled the immense contributions of the late writer to the growth and development of literature in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
Okowa said: “On behalf of the government and people of the Delta State, I commiserate with the government and people of Rivers State, the Elechi Amadi’s family and the entire literary world over the demise of the late cerebral writer of ‘The Concubine’ fame.
Similarly, Okowa also commiserated with the family of the late former Transport and Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, as well as the governor and people of Abia State, urging them to take solace in the fact that Maduekwe made outstanding contributions to the democratic and national development of Nigeria.Maduekwe’s Death Shocking, Wike Laments
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described as shocking the news of the sudden death of Ojo Maduekwe.
The governor said the death of the elder statesman was quite painful as he passed on at a time he was playing an active role in the repositioning the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for greater service to the country.
He noted that Maduekwe, as a founding member of the PDP, helped nurture the nation’s democracy as a PDP scribe, minister and a voice of reason in the polity.
While praying God to grant his immediate family the fortitude to bear the painful loss, Wike said Nigeria would miss the contributions of the former High Commissioner to Canada at this critical time in its history.
Mimiko Mourns Maduekwe, Amadi
Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, described as shocking the deaths of Chief Ojo Madueke and literary icon, Dr. Elechi Amadi.
In his condolence message issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, Mimiko who is also the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum said Madueke in his life time was a man of peace who was goal oriented.
He said the late PDP BOT secretary represented everything good, noble and a good example of a team player. “His death at this time when he is more needed by the PDP is shocking,” he said.
Also, he described Amadi as a force in the literary field, saying he would be sorely missed, especially by the many lives he was able to touch and influence through his writings.
Okorocha: Deaths Were Shocking
The Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, said the deaths of Chief Ojo Maduekwe and literary icon, Prof. Elechi Amadi, respectively, were sad and shocking.
Okorocha said the two illustrious Igbo sons had not only lived fulfilled lives in their chosen careers but had made outstanding contributions to the unity and progress of Nigeria and her people.
He regretted that the two prominent Nigerians died at a time when the country and the younger generation needed their experiences and advice.
The state governor said the impact Amadi made in the literary world had contributed immensely in the promotion of academic excellence in the world, adding that Madukwe also made impact in the politics of Nigeria.
He therefore urged the families of the two late statesmen to take heart and ensure the maintenance of the legacies they had left behind.
Mark, Ogbeha Express Grief
Former Senate President, David Mark, and Senator Tunde Ogbeha have expressed grief over the death of former Nigerian Ambassador to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe and foremost writer and former Instructor with the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, Captain Elechi Amadi.
The duo expressed shock at the demise of the Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Maduekwe, who was very vibrant in the recent time.
According to them, “Nigeria has lost one of the finest and brightest politicians who was a brain box in political engineering over time.” To them, Maduekwe, over the years, demonstrated patriotism and meritorious service to the nation.
Specifically, Mark described Maduekwe as “a bossom friend and the Cicero of our time. His death at this time is devastating especially to the PDP family.
On Amadi, Mark and Ogbeha lamented the death of their former teacher whom they said mentored them to be successful in their chosen careers.
Amadi taught Mark, Ogbeha and others at the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) Regular Course 3, Kaduna between 1967 and 1970.
Kalu Commiserates with Abia, Rivers
Former Governor of Abia State, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has commiserated with the government and people of Abia State over the demise of Chief Ojo Maduekwe.
Kalu acknowledged the contributions of the late public administrator and diplomat to the social and political development of the country.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu said: “It was with rude shock that I received the news of the passing of Maduekwe.
“He was a seasoned politician and a community leader. Our prayers and thoughts are with the deceased’s family at this mournful period.”
Similarly, Kalu described the late literary icon, Captain Elechi Amadi, as a talented personality who used his literature works to promote a just society.
Amaechi: We’ve Lost a Colossus in Amadi
Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has described the death of literary icon, Elechi Amadi, as a monumental loss, adding that he has left very big shoes that will be difficult to fill.
Amaechi, the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, also described Amadi as a colossus, a great man in the literary field who contributed immensely to the growth and development of the state.
In a statement issued by his media office yesterday, the minister described the late Ikwerre indigene as a man with sterling reputation and integrity.
“I was shocked and broke down when I got the sad news of the death of one of our great minds, one of our very best, Captain Elechi Amadi. He was particularly close to me. His death has left a huge vacuum. The Amadi was a literary guru; he stood tall and contributed to the growth and development of our state. His death is a monumental loss to the Ikwerre people, Rivers people, Nigeria and the literary community.
“For me, this is a personal loss. I sympathise with his family on the very painful demise of Amadi.”
Ibori: Maduekwe was an Intellectual Guiding Light
Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, has described the late Chief Ojo Maduekwe, as an intellectual guiding light in his lifetime.
In a statement issued by Ibori’s Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, the former governor said: “Only those who would look deeply, as opposed to skimming the surface, into Nigerian politics, would be in a position to truly evaluate Maduekwe veritable contributions to Nigerian politics.” Ibori said the former minister brought a dash of sunlight and a breath of fresh air into Nigerian politics.
“For instance, Maduekwe could disagree with the multitude without keeping enmity with anyone. He could stoutly and lustily oppose a person’s position and yet openly express his admiration for his opponent’s independent stance.
Ibori urged his family as well as to the PDP to take heart over loss in the man he described as a guiding light.
Ngige Expresses Shock
Eminent lawyer, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) has joined other well-meaning Nigerians to mourn the demise of Chief Ojo Maduekwe, who was the Secretary of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT).
Ngige who expressed shock, described the late former minister as a personal friend and a colleague, adding that: “We knew each other in 1993 when we travelled together to Melbourne Australia for the International Bar Association Conference. His death is a huge loss to Nigeria and the political class. He is irreplaceable! He was an erudite scholar, a gifted orator and an unrepentant believer in one united and indivisible Nigeria. Nigeria and Ndigbo will sorely miss the loss of Maduekwe. “My sincere condolences go to his family May his soul rest in peace.”
Politicians, Contemporaries Eulogise Maduekwe
Political associates of the late Maduekwe yesterday also mustered at his residence in Abuja to commiserate with his family.
At his residence located at the Ministers’ Quarters in Abuja, former governors, ministers and dignitaries thronged the place to sign the condolence register and commiserate with the family.
As the elder brother of the late Ojo Maduekwe was still being expected from Lagos, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and Secretary of the committee, Ben Obi, led other members of the PDP leadership to pay their respect to the late politician.
While speaking to journalists after signing the condolence message, Makarfi described the death as a sad one.
“It is a very sad situation. We will continue to miss him and continue to be in a state of mourning. The death is really shocking to all of us.
“It is a great loss not only to his family but all who had worked hard to move Nigeria forward. Our prayers and sympathy goes to the family.”
Obi said: “Ojo was a kind of person who once you encounter him you will not leave without a message.”
He then prayed God to grant fortitude to his family to bear the huge loss and grant Ojo’s soul eternal rest.
Also, former Nigerian High Commissioner to London, Alhaji Dalhatu Tafida; former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu; former Head of Service, Ebere Okeke; former minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka; Senior Special Adviser to the president on National Assembly Matters, Sen Ita Enang and former executive secretary of Christian Pilgrim Board, John Kennedy Okpara were among those who paid respect to the late politician at his residence in Abuja.