By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday said the State Government would participate fully in all the programmes leading to the final burial of the former Military Governor of the State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd).
He said the State has set up a four-man committee led by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, to work with the deceased family and other stakeholders to immortalise and give late Ndubuisi Kanu a befitting passage of exit.
Ndubuisi Kanu, an elder statesman and leader of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) died on Wednesday at 77.
Speaking during a condolence visit to the family of Ndubuisi Kanu at the deceased residence in Victoria Island, Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu who was accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; the Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folasade Jaji; Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde and some members of the State Executive Council, described the late elder statesman as a detribalized Nigerian.
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He said: “He (Ndubusi Kanu) was a man that I personally had come to respect. He was a man that had supported our government from day one. He was a man that I personally respect, not because he is no more with us but he had been to my office on two occasions and had attended all of our events as a pillar of support. He was a builder and a brother across the Niger. He was a true real Nigerian that we all need to celebrate.
Delivering the Lagos State Government condolence message to the deceased family, Dr. Hamzat hailed late Ndubuisi Kanu’s contribution to the State and Nigeria, noting that the former Military Governor was irreplaceable.
He said: “ Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu was one of those that laid the pillar of what we benefit today as the military governor in 1976. People like him, even though they are not many, they stood firm. They went through all sorts of terrible things but they were good men. So for us in Lagos, we celebrate his life because we know that only God will live forever and that, we as human beings will come and exit the world at some point.
Speaking on behalf of the deceased family, the widow of the late elder statesman, Mrs. Gladys Ndubuisi Kanu, appreciated the Lagos State Government for offering to finance the burial of her husband.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday, described the demise of Rear Admiral Kanu as an irreplaceable loss of a gallant soldier, a bridge builder, an advocate of progressive democracy and civil rights as well as a firm believer in a strong and united Nigerian nation.
A statement by the minister’s media office in Abuja noted that Nigeria lost a patriot, a federalist and a true believer in the core values of the country.
According to Ngige, Kanu’s death was a big blow to the Igbo nation and Nigeria in general, more so, coming at a time that the country needed his services most.
The Minister said “He rendered selfless service as Military Administrator and distinguished himself in several top command and exalted positions he held as a naval chief in the Nigerian Military while in active service.
“He was the major and prime mover of Ndigbo Lagos, a sister organisation to Aka Ikenga that helped to develop Igbo intellectualism and peace with their host in Lagos. Nigerians will forever remember the contributions of Ndubuisi Kanu to the struggle for the restoration of democracy in the country and enthronement of civil rights of citizens, especially the role he played during the June 12 NADECO struggle. Ndigbo and Nigeria will sorely miss him and his interventions at critical moments in the country’s national life”.