President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the family of Nigeria’s first President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, over the passing away of of his first son, Chief Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati. The President also extended his condolences to the Government and people of Anambra State, and the immediate family of the deceased.
“President Jonathan believes that the late Azikiwe, who was also the Owelle of Onitsha, lived a fulfilled life by sustaining the humanitarian and leadership legacies of his father as a mobiliser, leader, philanthropist and a highly respected voice in his community’’, the statement said. The President prayed the Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed peaceful rest, and comfort the family he left behind. Also, the President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, described the death of Amb. Chukwuma Azikiwe as a sad development.
Buhari stated this in a statement signed by Malam Garba Shehu. The statement added that Azikiwe’s death was an exit of a great Nigerian who was brought up in the best tradition of national unity and genuine African values. “With the demise of Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe, a gentleman has left a turbulent world. “He was a thoroughbred Nigerian who chose a private life after a distinguished diplomatic career in Nigeria’s foreign service.
“There is no doubt that it was his humane and refined qualities that made it possible for him to step into the big traditional shoes of his great father – Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, as the Owelle of Onitsha.” The statement said Buhari had lost a friend who cared for him and often found the time to visit him at home in Kaduna. Also in a statement, Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakardescribed the late Azikiwe as ”a vanishing breed of Nigerian diplomats.
“He epitomised the very best of late Zik’s zeal and passion for a united Nigeria. He gave him a Yoruba name in spite of being Igbo and supported his pursuit of a career in Nigeria’s foreign service.” They condoled with the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, people of Onitsha and the family on the exit and prayed to God to grant his soul eternal rest.