Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, has described the death of Amb. Ojo Maduekwe, as a great loss, not only to him and his family, but to the entire Abia state, which he said was looking forward to benefitting from his repository of knowledge and goodwill.
Amb. Maduekwe, a native of Asaga, Ohafia in Abia state, passed on Wednesday at a private hospital in Abuja at the age of 71.
Commenting on Amb. Maduekwe’s passage in a statement issued by his Press Secretary, Gov. Ikpeazu said he “received with great shock the news of the death of Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe”.
The Governor described the late former Minister of Foreign Affairs as his personal mentor, confidant and father, stressing that in him, Nigeria, and Abia State in particular, has lost a great and worthy leader, adding that he was one of the strongest pillars of his administration offering invaluable advice and guidance.
The Governor who recalled his last moments with Chief Maduekwe, said that he was constantly in touch with the late ambassador even up until last weekend when the late Chief Maduekwe called him on telephone, from abroad, to apologize for missing a meeting he (Governor) held with the Minster for Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelama, Abia State National Assembly Caucus and Political Leaders last week Wednesday in Abuja. .
“The late Ambassador Maduekwe’s last official outing in the state with the Governor was the Abia North Senatorial Zone Town Hall Meeting held at his native Ohafia where the late leader gave the vote of thanks and urged political elites in Abia State to allow the Governor continue on his path of remarkable development and not to distract him with undue financial requests.
“Although Ambassador Maduekwe’s death is a national loss as he loyally served his country in numerous capacities, it is a particularly a heavy loss for Abia State as he was one of our brightest products who distinguished himself in the various high offices he occupied in the service of his fatherland”, Gov. Ikpeazu said while paying tribute to him.
The Governor however condoled with the immediate Maduekwe family and assured them of the prayers and support of the Abia State Government as they prepare to bid the late icon a befitting farewell.