Prominent Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari have mourned last Wednesday passing on of former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Ojo Maduekwe.
In a statement, President Buhari on Thursday commiserated with the families, government and people of Abia State on the deaths of a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe.
According to the 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.
The President 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.
Buhari also paid tribute to Late Justice Niki 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 Profesor Elechi 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.”
The Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman of the PDP, Senator Walid Jubrin described his death as a wrong timing.
According to him, this was especially dying in a time when the party is currently having leadership crisis.
According to Senator Jubrin, the late Ambassador, who until his death was the BoT Secretary was an intelligent person whose counsel could help solve the present dilemma the party is in.
While expressing shock over his demise, he said he was in Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj when he heard the sad news.
He said he was waiting for the Ambassador to come back from US, where he traveled to, so as to chart out possible solutions to problem bedeveling the party.
His words: “he passed on at a critical time when we needed him most. I was waiting for him to come back from US where he travelled to so that we can find a way of addressing the problems in the party.
“He was a good man and an intelligent person, who can always find a way out of situations. The party will mourn him. We have lost a great man. I would have loved to come back immediately, but we have started the process already, but I will devote my time here in Saudi Arabia to pray for his family.
“He was my Secretary and a former Nigeria Ambassador to United States, we were waiting for him to come back from US, but I was told that he fell sick and died on his way to the hospital. In fact, we were expecting him today”, he added.