Civil society and human rights activists are still mourning the sudden death of Mr. Uche Wisdom Durueke, a lawyer and activist.
Mr. Durueke was President, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, and Centre for Peace Across Borders, CePAB.
Chidi Odinkalu had announced Durueke’s death on Thursday: “Awful, tragic news from Owerri, Imo State. Former President of the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, and one Nigeria’s more effective human rights lawyers died this afternoon(Thursday), from burns suffered in a domestic fire incident last week.”
He added: “Wisdom was one of my staunchest protectors. His death hurts terribly. He’s another digit in Nigeria’s statistics of dysfunction.
“Those who named him ‘Wisdom’ weren’t glib or facetious. His activism wasn’t a popularity contest. He cared deeply about the human being behind the ism and schism.”
For Dele Dada, former General Secretary of Hotel and Personal Service Senior Staff Association, HAPSSSA: “Like a thunderbolt ,the rude shock filtered in that a friend, confidant and comrade whom l exchanged pleasantries and commentaries with on social media just a few days ago, has gone forever.
“He has been a pleasant gentleman, detribalised, loveable and a forward-looking person, who believes in the unity and progress of the nation and actually devoted a greater part of his life fighting the ills of the society through the instruments of the law.
“And always seeking better ways to uplifting the life of downtrodden masses.
“He died at the prime age, when his services are most needed in the country, perhaps he would have been alive today if government had allowed our infrastructure to be working perfectly, instead of a home accident he had from the spark of a generator that cost his life.
“This is one death that too many.
“Uche is one man you could always count on at any point in time. We have known each other during the days of our NYSC in early 80s and the relationship waxed stronger till his death.
“Even when l had problem with my employers on refusal to pay my retirement benefits and was asked to pick up the brief, he politely rejected it and told my Association to do the needful and damn the consequences of losing the association patronage.
“He stood solidly by me during the travails and God used him and others to resolve the matter amicably. He was also part of my success story while serving my Association in the capacity of General Secretary.”
“For those of us in the labour movement, we have lost a companion, associate, colleague and passion comrade.
“We shall all miss him forever and it is only God that can wipe away our tears and bring succour to us. But we all take solace in the fact that he lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation and he had run a successful race while on earth only waiting for the crown of our creator.
“May God grant the family, wife, children and associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
David Osunkwo added: “This has traumatised our UNEC Law class and his friends all over the globe. May his caring spirit live on and may the noble causes he championed with his brilliant mind continue to progress in the aftermath of his tragic death.”