June 9, 2023

Annie Okonkwo dies weeks after celebrating birthday, Ngige mourns

IPPIS, funding may stall discussions as ASUU meets FG

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

Senator Annie Okonkwo, a former lawmaker, who represented Anambra Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, has died. He was 63.

He reportedly died in the United States, after a long battle with a terminal illness.

A family member who spoke to Vanguard via the telephone on condition of anonymity confirmed the news of his death.

It will be recalled that the deceased, who was a foremost industrialist celebrated his 63rd birthday on May 23, 2023.

He was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007 to represent the Anambra Central senatorial district of Anambra State.

A source said: “He was recovering after taking proper treatment in the United States of America but relapsed a few days ago and died yesterday.

“Further details and arrangements would be made known to the public after deliberations and meetings are held within the family.”

His son, Uchenna Okonkwo, is the House of Representatives member-elect for Idemili North and Idemili South federal constituencies, Anambra State.

Ngige mourns

Reacting, former Anambra State Governor and the immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, described his death as a fall of an Iroko tree in the forest with an attendant huge loss to the business and Political firmament of Anambra State, the South East and Nigeria in general.

In a statement he personally signed, Ngige described the late senator as a very strong and dogged politician with whom he did many political battles/ contests, the most memorable being the three-cornered fight in 2011 for the Anambra Central Senate seat between himself, the late Senator and late Prof Dora Akunyili.

Ngige praised the late senator for his sportsmanship, saying: ”Even though I won and came to the 7th Senate Agunechemba congratulated me and promised not to go to court to contest my winning. He really did not go to court. So I became his successor and the loss did not affect our personal relationship.”

“Ngige extends his heartfelt condolences to the Okonkwo family of Iru- Ebenebe Ojoto where he holds the high chieftaincy title of Okaka and Agunechemba, Government and people of Anambra State and the Nigerian political and business community.