President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over the passing to glory of the patriarch of the family, Obi Chukuka Okonjo, at 91.
Mr Okonjo was a professor of mathematics, university administrator, international consultant and traditional ruler.
According to a statement by the presidential aide, Femi Adesina, on Saturday, the president commiserated with the government and people of Delta State over the death of the traditional leader.
He also condoled with the academia, the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Uku, friends and professional colleagues of the late scholar.
Mr Buhari noted that the deceased dedicated his life to teaching, research and service of humanity.
He also affirmed that the traditional ruler contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development with his uncommon wisdom of pursuing knowledge, encouraging his wife and children to follow the same path and sponsoring other people’s children to acquire quality education.
The president believed that the wise and fatherly counsels, intellectual depth, and valuable insights of the scholar would be sorely missed by the family and the entire nation.
While assuring that Mr Okonjo’s place in Nigeria’s history is guaranteed, Mr Buhari prayed that the almighty God will grant the soul of the elder statesman rest and comfort his family.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan also commiserated with Mrs Okonjo-Iweala over the passing on of her father.
In a letter of condolence to Mrs Okonjo-Iweala who was co-ordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance under his administration, Jonathan described the late professor as an excellent teacher and worthy custodian of the tradition of his people.
In the letter which the former president signed, he wrote: “On behalf of my family, I condole with you, the Okonjo family, the Ogwashi-Uku people and the Government of Delta State on the demise of your father, Professor Chukuka Okonjo, who died at the age of 91.
“Papa was a patriot, who lived a life of service, devoted to promoting peace and reconciling the less privileged with hope.
“As an academia, he was an excellent teacher who rose to the pinnacle of his career. He was also an exemplary traditional ruler who served as a worthy custodian of the culture and tradition of his people.
“I know the death of one’s parents no matter the age is a painful experience but I want you to be consoled by the graceful footprints and legacies of integrity, honour and selfless service that your father left behind for the rest of humanity.
“May God strengthen you and your entire family as you mourn your departed patriarch.”