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Mark, Ekweremadu, Wogu, Etiebet, others mourn as Chukwumerije dies at 75



LESS than seven months to his 76th birthday, former Information Minister and Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, yesterday, passed on after a long combat with lung cancer.
Announcing his demise, yesterday, his son, Chidi Chukwumerije, in a four-paragraph statement said his family has lost an inspirational icon.
The statement entitled: “The Passing of An Inspirational Icon,” read: “On the evening of Sunday, April 19, 2015, surrounded by his family, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije passed into the open arms of history, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, after a long but gallant battle with lung cancer. His life is many volumes, which can only be told with care and time, of dedication and focus, integrity and discipline, and an unbroken love for the highest ideals of our shared humanity. Details of burial arrangements will be announced in due course. We ask only for your prayers and good wishes.’’
Rumoured to have died last December, which he refuted as the handiwork of “a few ungodly and irresponsible individuals,” Chukwumerije’s death threw the Igbo community and some leaders into mourning.
Ohanaeze will miss his robust contributions – Nwaorgu
Mourning the three-time senator, Dr Joe Nwaorgu, the secretary general of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said: “It is a big loss to Ndigbo. Chukwumerije was an enormous resource person. We will miss him a lot. He was a very active member of Ohanaeze, we will miss his participation and deliberation on issues. At 75, it is not such a long life. We expected to him to live longer.’’
Senate has lost one of its brightest minds – Mark
Chukwumerije: Boko Haram endangers Igbo bid for presidency in 2015
Speaking on Chukwumerije’s death, Senate President David Mark said Chukwumerije was one of the brightest and fertile minds in the Senate. “He radiated intelligence, exemplary conduct in both public and private life. He was a team player who brought meaning to hard work. He was focused and determined to make positive difference.” Senator Mark added that in the Senate, Senator Chukwumerije was a shinning light and a pathfinder. His words: “We shall miss him. No doubt he left a vacuum that would too hard to fill. He was a consummate and passionate Nigerian who believed in the sanctity of the peace and unity of the nation.”
We have lost a perfect gentleman, intellectual gem –Etiebet, Maeba
In his reaction, former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet, said Nigeria has lost an intellectual gem. His words: “We never heard he was sick. Nigeria has lost an intellectual and expert at whatever he was doing. We will miss him greatly especially his contribution to education enhancement as the Senate Education Committee Chairman. I pray Almighty God to give his family the grace to bear the irreparable loss.’’
Also, Senator Lee Maeba described Chukwumerije as a perfect gentleman. “He was a perfect gentleman and I pray May his gentle soul rest in peace.”
His battles will never be in vain –Ikokwu
In like manner, Second Republic Politician, Chief Guy Ikokwu, described the late senator as a man of justice, who fought for the emancipation of the downtrodden. Ikokwu recalled the late senator’s role during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war and said: He did his best for his people and he will never be forgotten. With very little resources, he fought for the survival of his people and those things he fought for will never be forgotten.”
It is the exit of a Lion Senator — Ekweremadu
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has expressed shock and sadness over Chukwumerije’s death, describing him as a fearless politician who fought for the interest of the common man and his people. He also described him as “a patriot who gave his best towards the peace, unity and development of Nigeria”. In a statement, Ekweremadu said: “I am most saddened by the news of the passing on of distinguished Senator Chukwumerije. It is the exit of a lion Senator, brother, friend, brave comrade, seasoned journalist, credible mobiliser, social critic, pro-poor politician, and a legislator per excellence.
He said Senator Chukwumerije would be sorely missed by the Senate and the entire nation and prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul and inner strength for his family and the entire nation to bear the irreparable loss.
It is a big loss –Wogu
Immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu said: “It is a big loss to the country and to the Igbo nation. Chukwumerije was a reference point politically right from the civil war days and then the post civil war era. He is a voice that will be missed in the Senate and I pray that God will grant him eternal peace.”
PDP mourns
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Muazu on behalf of the National Executive Committee and the PDP family nation wide mourned and eulogised the late politician.”We are indeed deeply saddened by the loss of this great Nigerian, a highly respected statesman who has made immense contributions to the development of our dear nation. Senator Chukuwumerije lived a patriotic Nigerian and a brilliant lawmaker who gave his all and discharged his responsibilities with unequalled forthrightness, loyalty and commitment to the service of our dear fatherland. He was a democratic icon and an outstanding party-man who remained committed to the ideology of the PDP and the visions of the founding fathers. We will greatly miss him. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family as we pray God to give them the fortitude to bear this great loss,’’ he said.

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