…We’ll Settle As Tribute To Him -Sheriff
Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said the late Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe would be mourned forever by members of the party.
Makarfi said this Thursday at the residence of the fallen former PDP scribe and Secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) when he led a delegation of the party to console with the family of the deceased.
Makarfi, who said the PDP may not declare public holiday for its staffers in respect of Maduekwe’s death, maintained that all party faithful across the globe knows that a great man has passed on and called on Nigerians to console with the family of the deceased and his home state of Abia.
According to Senator Makarfi, “it is a very sad thing; we are still in a state of mourning. We will continue to be in a state of mourning for a very long time. Death comes when it would come but this is a rude shock to all of us.
“We were eagerly looking forward to his return to join his family in festivity and to join all of us. For several years we have worked together to move our great country and our party forward. We love him but God loves him best.
“God has a reason for everything. At this moment, our prayers and sympathy goes to the family, to his state and of course to the larger Nigeria and the PDP family. May his soul rest in peace.
“We can write books on his achievements; the time will come for that. Now it is time to mourn him and console the family and console his associates. And I can assure you that I am one of his associate”, Makarfi added.
Ousted chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, in a statement described Maduekwe as a “democratic icon and an outstanding party-man who remained committed to the peace, unity and progress of our party till the very end.”
He pledged that “the peace which he was working extremely hard to achieve within our fold will never elude us as we strive to ensure that all issues are amicably settled as a tribute to his labour for a united PDP family.”
Former Governor of Kogi state, Capt. Idris Wada, in a statement signed by his media advisor, Mr. Jacob Edi, said Maduekwe’s influence and relevance transcends the shores of Nigeria adding that his experience and skills would be missed by the party and the country at large.
Commenting further on the demise of the former Minister of Transport, secretary of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Ben Obi, described the deceased as “a gifted man who perfected the art of courageous expression of truth on all matters irrespective of whose ox is gored”.
Obi said the diplomatic finesse Maduekwe brought to bear in conflict resolutions would be missed especially now that the party needs this skill-set to resolve the internal conflict that rocks it.
Obi said the decision of the almighty remains right amidst the grief borne by the family members and friends of the deceased.
“He was gifted, he was a special man and indeed, he and I have come a long way. We have been together for over 38 years. Working hand in hand politically.
“We have lost a great son of Igbo land, the PDP has lost something special.
“The art of being honest, the art of being courageous and express your opinion, no matter whose ox is gored, that is Ojo for you. He tells you to speak the truth let whoever is worried be worried.
“We are already feeling the pain of his exit, no doubt. Apart from his diplomatic approach the honesty and straight forwardness with which he tackles problems is something that we will miss dearly.
“But, ultimately, ultimately, God never makes a mistake”, he said.
Both men arrived at about 12:39pm and were received by former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka.
Early callers to the home of the fallen PDP chieftain include ex-governor Babangida Aliyu, former deputy governor of Plateau state, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri and Chairman of UPP Chief Chekwas Okorie.
Others sighted at the Maduekwes are Professor ABC Nwosu, former minister of state for FCT, Barr. Chuka Udom, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, Former Executive Secretary, National Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Kennedy Opara amongst others.