President Goodluck Jonathan, President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigeria’s Vice President Atiku Abubakar were among several national leaders that have expressed various emotional feelings over the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije yesterday.
In his condolence message issued today by his special adviser on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan described the deceased as an ardent believer in national unity, peace, political stability and progress.
The President said that the late senator, whom he referred to as a patriot and nationalist, has left behind an impressive legacy of discipline, honesty, integrity and hard work in public service.
The President believed that the late Senator Chukwumerije, “who had a distinguished career as a journalist, social critic, Minister of Information and Senator, will be long remembered for his dedication and passion for a just and equitable society.”
He called on the friends, associates and family of Senator Chukwumerije to honour his memory by continually upholding the values and principles which he lived for and never stopped fighting for till his death.
In his condolence message issued by Director of media and publicity for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mallam Garba Shehu, General Buhari said that the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije has diminished the generation of true progressives in Nigeria and the African continent.
Buhari said that Senator Chukwumerije was a Pan-African par excellence, adding: “as a man of my own generation, I observed the progressive political activities of Uche Chukwumerije and admired the Pan- African interests and national patriotic zeal which dominated and dictated major part of his actions and pursuits.”
The General recalled that in the Second Republic, Chukwumerije’s parted ways with the ethnic and regional politics of that era to identify with Mallam Aminu Kano, the leader of the masses (Talakawas) and this “marked him out as a worker for national unity and a man of noble values.’
“As a media practitioner, Chukwumerije was a professional who did his job with passion and conviction in all positions he held. I was not surprised he was a leading voice in the Senate for twelve years, where he had been serving the Federal Republic till death came calling.”
The President-elect noted that Comrade Chukwumerije, as he was fondly called by admirers, lived an active life and never sat on the fence on any national issues.
“Senator Chukwumerije has played an exceptional role in the business of legislation in the country and we will all dearly miss him as an outstanding politician and an elder statesman.
“I sincerely condole with his family and friends, especially his constituents in Abia North senatorial district, the people of Abia State and members of the National Assembly.”
Atiku Abubakar also described late Chukwumerije as a fine gentleman, saying was well cultured, sartorial in style and in presentation.
“As a politician, he was very classy and as a statesman he was exceptional. His death came as a rude shock and I do sincerely pray that God grants his family, the people of Abia State, friends and colleagues at the National Assembly the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Amongst others that have condoled with the nation and family of the late Senator were the Senate President. David Mark, House of Representatives leadership, led by speaker Aminu Tambuwal, governors and members of the business community. [myad]