The Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Uche Chukwumerije, is dead.
He was 75.
According to a statement by a family representative, Chidi, the Senator died on Sunday after a long but gallant battle with lung cancer.
“On the evening of Sunday, the 19th of April, 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,” the statement said.
“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.”
Condolences have already started pouring in for the former Information Minister.
His party, the Peoples Democratic Party, said it was “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 Chukwumerije 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.”
In a statement by his spokesperson, the Senate President, David Mark, said “Nigeria has lost an erudite and extra ordinary nationalist.” .
The Senate President lamented that Mr. 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”, Mr. Mark stated.
“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,” the Senate President said.
Below is the Wikipedia entry for Mr. Chukwumerije here.
Chukwumerije served as minister of information in the dying days of the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida. Chukwumerije served as minister of information in the interim national government of Ernest Shonekan.[
His son Chika won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Uche funded his training.
His other son, Dikeogu Egwuatu Chukwumerije, is a writer and a performance poet. He also hosts the Abuja Literary Society (ALS)’s Night of Spoken Words. He has written books like The African American, One Nigeria: The Birth and Evolution of an Idea, The Revolution Has No Tribe: Contemporary Poetry on African History, Culture and Society Co-written with Azuka Juachi Okonji, Strategic Love: Simple Rules That Make Love Work and many others. He also did a tribute to the legendary Chinua Achebe titles ‘Nna Anyi, Is It True?’ after his demise. His writings can be found on dikechukwumerije.blogspot.com Dike is married with children.
In the Fourth Republic, Chukwumerije was elected to the Senate on the Peoples Democratic Party’s platform, but he fell out of favor with the party’s leadership when he opposed the Third Term Agenda. Chukwumerije eventually decamped to theProgressive Peoples Alliance in 2006, and was reelected to the Senate on April 28, 2007.
Chukwumerije is divorced with 7 children.Chukwumerije studied economics at the University of Ibadan.
Chukwumerije was reelected on the PDP platform in the April 2011 elections.