Journalists in Abuja, especially, those covering the All Progressives Congress (APC) could not hold back their tears yesterday when the news of the death of their former chairman, Chucks Ehirim broke out. This was even as the former Nigeria Vice President Atiku Abubakar described his death as shocking.
The journalist gathered around the APC national secretariat to mourn the passing away of Chuks Ehirim.
The late Ehirim died at the Garki hospital after a protracted illness on thursday, the day he was supposed to celebrate his 50th birthday.
In different tributes, late Ehirim’s colleagues at the APC press Corps, described his death as a rude shock and a great lost to the journalism in the country.
The Journalists also described late Ehirim as the pillar of reporters covering the APC and had spent more years covering the opposition parties.
The newsmen testified to the fact that late Ehirim was a progressive and passionate Journalist who contributed immensely through his reportage and news analysis to the government of change and accountability in governance.
“We can vividly remember that our late colleague has been reporting President Muhammadu Buhari and his political activities since the President joined politics.
“The most recent was the tour of political campaigns across the country with President Buhari and the APC during the last general elections. But unfortunately for us, our colleague died of a treatable illness.
“Sadly for us again, late Chuks Ehirim did not wait to enjoy the regime of the government he laboured for”
They, however, called on the leadership of the APC as a party he passionately reported and President Muhammadu Buhari, to extend kind gesture to “our colleague’s family who left behind five young children.”
In his own tribute, Atiku said: “Chuks was a fair-minded professional, a conscientious journalist, a progressive democrat and committed nationalist.”
Atiku noted that the late Ehirim was a frontline champion of democratic ideals who used the medium of mass communication to advocate his avowed interest in equity, fairness and justice.
Atiku said it was painful to learn that the man, popularly called “Eze-Igbo” by his peers, for his belief in the identity of the Igbo nation within the Nigerian entity, would succumb so casually to the cold hands of death after a long struggle to install the current government of change.
The APC chieftain recalled that Ehirim’s activism dates back to his students’ union days at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, from where he later joined forces with democratic forces to battle the military in the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections.
Atiku condoled with the Ehirim family, NUJ and his employers, The Niche on Sunday Newspaper. [myad]