Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As tributes continue to pour in for the late Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and foremost constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze, Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, has described his demise as a monumental loss to the Igbo nation, and Nigeria in general.
Similarly, former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, has expressed grief over the death of the elder statesman, describing it as a huge loss.
This is as a member of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Presidential Advisory Council Prof Gregory Ibe has described the death of Prof. Nwabueze as an irreparable loss to Ndigbo.
Professor Ibe in a press statement by his Media Aide, Rev. Sleek Ogwo, further described the late Nwabueze as “a leading light, pioneer educationist and prominent legal luminary whose legacies will remain evergreen.”
Governor Soludo in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Christian Aburime, said Nwabueze’s influence extended far beyond his home state of Anambra, noting that he lived all his life “inspiring generations of legal minds and citizens alike to strive for a more just and equitable society.”
“As a towering figure in the field of constitutional law and an elder statesman of unparalleled integrity in Nigeria, the legacy of Prof. Nwabueze will forever be etched in the annals of our nation’s history,” the statement read.
It further read: “His unyielding commitment to the cause of constitutionalism, justice and equity has left an indelible impact on Nigeria.”
Governor Soludo further said his wisdom and tireless efforts in advocating for democratic ideals have also guided our nation through some of its most pivotal moments.
“The government and the good people of Anambra State, join in mourning the loss of this great son and patriot, whose phenomenal contributions to our state and country will never be forgotten.
“We pray that the Almighty God grant his soul eternal rest as we also extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all who were touched by his wisdom and dedication.
“May his legacy continue to inspire generations to come!”
Senator Nwagbara who spoke with Ikengaonline, said Professor Nwabueze represented “integrity, courage and resilience.”
He noted that the late Nwabueze had made tremendous impacts on different fronts, adding that his legacies will be remembered for many generations to come.
The former Senate President condoled with the members of his immediate family as well as the people and Government of Anambra State over the exit of the “illustrious son of Igboland”
He prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss, and to also grant the soul of the departed, eternal place in heaven.
Senator Wabara who noted that Professor Nwabueze departed at a time when the ideal Nigeria he desired and laboured for had not come, said he would be dearly missed.
According to Prof Ibe, “Having received the shocking news of the death of our very distinguished leader and icon of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Prof Ben Nwabueze, I write to convey my deepest condolences first to the Nwabueze family of Atani and the entire people of Anambra state.”
Recalling how the late education icon collaborated with other stalwarts to form the Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-cultural organisation, Prof Ibe praised the sterling pioneering spirit of Prof Nwabueze which according to him characterised his entire life tenure and endeared him to many.
He said: “Part of the lasting legacies of Prof Nwabueze include his pioneering role in the formation of Ohanaeze Ndigbo which he collaborated with such notable stalwarts as Dr Akanu Ibiam, Dr Michael Okpara, Chief Kingsley Mbadiwe and Prof Joe Irukwu to establish in 1976 as a pan-Igbo Organisation. He would later serve as our pioneer Secretary General under the leadership of our late father Chief Jerome Udoji.”
Prof Ibe prayed for peaceful repose of the soul of Prof Nwabueze while enjoining the public to bear the irreparable loss with sobreity.
While calling for sustenance of the legacies of the late legal luminary, Prof Ibe promised to immortalise such fallen Igbo heroes as Raph Uwechue, Col. Joe Achuzie, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, Prof George Obiozor, Prof Joe Irukwu and Prof Ben Nwabueze through a colloquium that will climax with the symbolic etching of their names in the Igbo Hall of Fame at the Centre for Igbo Renaissance of Gregory University Uturu.
News on the death of Professor Nwabueze, one time Nigeria’s Minister of Education, was announced on Monday by a spokesperson of the family, Eni Nwabueze, who confirmed that the elder statesman died on Sunday at the age of 94.