By Victor Young
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has described the death of Pa Senator Ayo Fasanmi as the fall of a big iroko tree in Yorubaland, and the exit of a nationalist and patriot from Nigeria’s political firmament.
The minister also commiserated with the Momah clan, government and people of Anambra State on the death of former Minister of Science & Technology in the Babangida military regime, Major General Sam Momah(retd).
Ngige, in a statement, recalled his first meeting with the then Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, Senator in the National Assembly Clinics 1004 Victoria Island, where he (Ngige) was serving as an NYSC doctor in 1980.
According to Ngige, “I never knew late Fasanmi was a pharmacist and after the consultation, he wanted to know the contents of some of the drugs, pharmacokinetics and possible side effects.
“After that discussion, the Senator usually called to book an appointment to see me irrespective of the fact that I was a very young doctor.”
“Pa Fasanmi was soft-spoken, not boisterous like many other Senators, but was a goal scorer.
“No wonder he managed Afenifere dexterously. He was an unrepentant Awoist and loved his people greatly.”
On the demise of General Momah, the minister expressed sadness, describing him “as a suave military officer, scientist and educationist.”
Ngige noted that the “General will be remembered as one of the very few Ibo men who joined us in the crusade to make the Muhammadu Buhari presidency a reality, especially in 2015 when it was a taboo for any Ibo man to support a Buhari against their ‘brother’ Azikiwe Ebele Jonathan.
“Retiring from the Army, Sam Momah also distinguished himself as an author and astute businessman with his flourishing hotel chain and other ventures in Real Estate.
“This is the time Nigeria needs nationalists like him, who have built bridges of friendship across all the divides as the country approaches 2023.
“May the good Lord grant the soul of these two patriots everlasting and peaceful rest.”