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Ojo Maduekwe dies at 71

Ojo Maduekwe dies at 71

·    PDP confirms his exit
·    Ekweremadu mourns
Former Minister of For­eign Affairs and Sec­retary of the People’s Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, is dead. He was 71.
His death was confirmed last night by the BoT Chair­man, Walid Jubrin.
Jubrin said that Maduek­we died on his way to an un­disclosed hospital in America.
But an associate of Ma­duekwe, who sought anonym­ity, said that he slumped at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after alighting from the aircraft.
Jubrin, who said he was in Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj, said that he was told that Maduekwe had died.
He said Madukwe passed on at a time when the party needed him most.
Describing Maduekwe as an intelligent person with the ability to solve knotty issues, Jubrin said that he was waiting for the deceased to come back from the US, where he travelled to so that they can put heads to­gether to save the PDP.
Jubril said that he was told that Maduekwe died on his way to the hospital, adding that he would have loved to cut short his journey to Saudi Arabia, but stressed that he couldn’t as the process of the Lesser Hajj had started.
The BoT chairman, who spoke with The AUTHORITY from Saudi Arabia, said that he would use the opportuni­ty of the Lesser Hajj to pray for Maduekwe’s family, as the par­ty will continue to mourn him.
He said: “He passed on at a time when we needed him most. I was waiting for him to come back from the 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 could always find a way out of any situation. 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 Nigerian Ambassa­dor. We were waiting for him to come back from the US, but I was told that he fell sick and died on his way to the hospi­tal. In fact, we were expecting him today.”
In a reaction, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, expressed deep sadness over Maduekwe’s death.
Through his media aide, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, Sena­tor Ekweremadu described Ma­duekwe as “a political colossus, public administrator par excel­lence, and uncommon patriot who gave his best to fatherland,” adding the he would be sore­ly missed.
Maduekwe was born on May 6, 1945. He was appointed Foreign Minister of Nigeria on July 26, 2007 by the late Presi­dent Umaru Yar’Adua.
He left office in March 2010 when form President Goodluck Jonathan (Acting President then) dissolved his cabinet.
The late Maduekwe worked as the Deputy Director of PDP Presidential Campaign 2011 for the Goodluck/Sambo tick­et. Maduekwe served as Culture and Tourism Minister under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 before he was appoint­ed Minister of Transport in 2001. In this position,
he pro­moted the use of bicycles, al­though critics said that the Ni­gerian roads were unsafe for cyclists and Maduekwe himself was pushed into a ditch by a bus while he was cycling to work. - THE AUTHORITY


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