President Muhammadu Buhari has extended heartfelt condolences to the Amaechi family, the government and people of Anambra State and Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the passing of Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, elder statesman, First Republic parliamentarian and minister of aviation.
The president in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu joined them and other Nigerians in mourning a great patriot who believed deeply in a united Nigeria, and continued to work for its progress, undeterred by his age and personal circumstances.
President Buhari has very fond memories of his recent meetings with the respected nationalist, in November 2021 in Abuja and May 2022 in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, and these words of his on November 19, still resonate:
“I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire,” he had said.
Extolling the frankness, wisdom, honesty and advice of Amaechi on the situation in the South Eastern part of the country and the way forward, the President affirms that the nonagenarian will also be remembered for his warmth, values and devotion to the service of the nation. Buhari prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed and comfort for all who mourn.
Similarly, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has mourned the demise of an elder statesman, and First Republic Aviation Minister of Nigeria, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi.
In a statement released in Abuja by the Atiku Media Office, Wazirin Adamawa extolled the sterling qualities of the nationalist for his sacrifices in the struggle for the liberation of Nigeria from colonial rule; and subsequent services to the nation’s development as aviation minister, and elder statesman.
“Chief Mbazuluike was an outstanding nationalist, Pan-Africanist extraordinaire and a great associate and friend of the African legend, Nelson Mandela. His contributions to the independence of Nigeria, South Africa, and others from foreign domination and apartheid rule will occupy prominent space in the story of African emancipation,” Atiku said.
The PDP presidential flag-bearer urged Nigerians not to forget, but be rather grateful to the generation of these our heroes past, which Mbazuluike Amaechi represented for their love for our country and learn from them, the values of patience, selflessness, patriotism and national unity without which our nation cannot endure into greatness.
Atiku Abubakar on behalf of his family and political associates nationwide, commiserates with the Amaechi family, the government and people of Anambra State, Ndigbo and indeed all who knew and cherished the outstanding contributions of Mbazuluike.
Also yesterday, governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, expressed sadness over the demise of Mbazulike Amechi, at 93 years. Amechi died at the early hours of yesterday, November 1st, 2022.
Other prominent Anambra indigenes who have expressed their deep grief over the passage of the sage included, Senator Ben Obi, chairman of the 2023 presidential campaign council of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, his running-mate, Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; director of operations, Professor Obiora Okonkwo; Iyom Josephine Anenih and Chief Dan Ulasi.
Governor Soludo described the late Mbazulike Amechi as an outstanding patriot and nationalist who served the nation diligently.
According to him, the late elder statesman lived an impactful and exemplary life worthy of commendation.
“He was a renowned nationalist, an active and staunch voice in the Zikist Movement as well as an accomplished elder statesman,” Governor Soludo recalled.
The governor stated that the death of Mbazulike Amechi was not just a loss to his community, Ukpor, in Nnewi South local government area and Anambra State but also a monumental loss to Ndigbo and the Nigerian Nation.
Also, Ben Obi, Okonkwo, Anenih and Ulasi who expressed their grief after a minute silence observed at the inauguration ceremony of Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council in Anambra State in Awka yesterday emphasised the struggle and contributions the late First Republic Aviation Minister made for Nigeria’s development and unity.
Okonkwo in his own speech stated that the Atiku/Okowa Presidency guarantees that surest chance for the country’s president of Igbo extraction, and, advised the people of the South East to vote for Atiku enmass.
Dan Ulasi and Iyom Anenih eulogised the nationalist dispositions of the late Amaechi and urged the people of Anambra State to sustain his contributions towards Nigerian unity by supporting Atiku’s presidential bid.