Our Reporter, Abuja
National leaders, friends and associates have continued to express their shock at the news of the death of the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulafor.
Although no official announcement of the death of the former minister has been made by the family, Ikengaonline learned from a source close to them that the former national chairman as well as scribe of the PDP died in Canada after a protracted illness, aged 73.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and other dignitaries in the country have condoled with Ogbulafor’s family.
The president in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, commiserated with leaders and members of the PDP, the Olokoro royal family in Umuahia, and government and people of Abia State over the loss.
According to President Buhari, the former national chairman would be remembered for his role in the nation’s democratic growth. He commended the zeal of the Prince of Olokoro in sustaining the unity and progress of the country and prayed that God accepts his soul and comforts his family.
The former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has expressed shock and sadness over the death.
“Vincent Ogbulafor was my friend and colleague from the early days of our great party, the PDP; a platform with which we won the presidential election of 1999 and 2003 and formed the federal cabinet from 1999 to 2003; a government in which we worked together to reform Nigeria’s economy after many years of military plundering. As a minister of State of the Federal Republic, he contributed his quota with open mind in the economic reforms process that we embarked on,” Atiku said.
He also said Ogbulafor was a cool and level-headed individual with a pan-Nigerian outlook to politics and life.
Also former Governor of Enugu State and senator representing Enugu East Senatorial Zone in the Senate, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, lamented the death of Ogbulafor.
He noted that the former PDP leader was a good administrator and consummate politician who contributed to the growth of the party.
“With Ogbulafor’s death, the PDP has lost a strong pillar and a committed party man. His exit has created a huge vacuum,” Senator Nnamani lamented.
He noted that Ogbulafor died at a time when his wealth of experience in party administration was needed to resolve the seemingly intractable crisis within the party.
Former national chairman of the PDP, who served as the Party’s National Organizing Secretary during the chairmanship of Ogbulafor, Prince Uche Secondus, said the PDP would greatly miss the wise counsel of Ogbulafor, especially at this time of electioneering.
Secondus described Ogbulafor as a great patriot who made significant contributions to the development of democracy in the country through his selfless service to the PDP and the nation.
He also said Ogbulafor was also outstanding as a public servant being member of the cabinet of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration where he also made enormous impact as a federal minister.
In a similar vein, former president of the senate, Senator David Mark, described Ogbulafor’s death as a huge loss to the party and the nation at large.
Mark noted that the deceased was a fine gentleman who was passionate and committed to the growth and sustenance of democracy in the country.
“As a minister of the Federal Republic, Ogbulafor demonstrated unwavering commitment to the ideals of nationhood. As national secretary, national chairman and a prominent member of the PDP board of trustees (BOT), he demonstrated uncommon loyalty to the party and the Nigerian state,” he stated.
Prince Vincent Ogbulafor is easily remembered for emerging as the consensus candidate and consequently elected chairman of the PDP against all odds when the leading candidates were the former senate president, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim and former Ebonyi State Governor, Dr Sam Egwu, under the presidency of Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua.
He also boasted that the PDP would be in power for sixty years in Nigeria.