Ohafia (Abia) – The Asagha Community in Ohafia, the home town of late Chief Ojo Maduekwe, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been thrown into mourning following the news of his sudden death.
Maduekwe, 71, who was the Secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) died on Wednesday evening in Abuja.
A visit to Asagha on Thursday, reports that the community was in mournful mood.
Some leaders of the community were seen at the village square discussing and grieving over the death of a man they described as “an illustrious son and pride of the community.”
Messrs John Ibe, Kalu Chiori and Nmasinobi Eziyi told NAN that the community was shocked and in deep mourning over the death.
They said that they heard the news through the media and that every Ohafia man was deeply disturbed by the death.
Ibe, a close relation of the deceased, said, “The news of his death is shocking and unfortunate.
“Every Ohafia man is saddened by his death.
“Ojo was my uncle; I worked with him in Lagos so I am very close to him,” he said.
He described the deceased as “a good man and a workaholic.’’
“He was a good man; the only problem is that he never rested, he was always working,” he said.
Chiori said that when he heard the news of Maduekwe’s death around 2a.m. on radio and turned on his television to further confirm the news.
He described the death as “painful and unbelievable, ” saying “everybody in Ohafia is still in shock.”
Similarly, Eziyi who expressed sadness over the death said that Ohafia had lost an “illustrious son,” which would take another generation to replace.
“I am terrified by his death. It takes a generation for a community to produce such an illustrious son; so this is a big loss to Ohafia, Abia and Nigeria in general,” he said.
The three respondents appealed to the government of the five states in the South-East zone to give him a befitting burial.
Madueke would be remembered by many as the man who tried to popularise the use of bicycle as a means of transportation in the city.
This made people to refer to him as, “Ojo oni keke”, meaning, Ojo, the bicycle man.