Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano has condoled with the Azikiwe Family and Obi of Onitsha on the death of Chief Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha, eldest son of Nigeria’s first president, the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe on Sunday May 11, aged 75.
Obiano in the condolence message stated that he was shocked when he got the news of the demise of Chief Chukwuma Azikiwe, a 1964 Harvard Business graduate whom he described as a political leader in his own right.
Recalling how the deceased joined the Anambra State governorship race in 1991 when he aspired for governorship nomination on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Obiano said that the aspiration was in pursuit of selfless leadership to serve the people.
‘It is not how long one lived, but how well. What is important is the courage we bring to bear on life. It is neither easy to come out from the shadows of a great Patriarch, nor for one to succeed in all one’s endeavours. For me, it was enough that the late Chukwuma espoused his own vision of leadership and offered himself for service to the state,’ Obiano noted in a statement.
The Governor paid tribute to the late Azikiwe’s passion for the traditions and culture of his people which probably informed his selection into the Onitsha royal cabinet. ‘In a sense then, he was a cultural ambassador of not just Onitsha but the Igbo race as a whole.’
He also conveyed his sympathies to His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nn’emeka Achebe the deceased’s immediate family, the larger Azikiwe family and the Obi of Onitsha, saying the transition was also ‘a big loss not only to Onitsha Kingdom and Anambra State, but also Nigeria as a whole.
Governor Obiano noted that the vicissitudes of his life notwithstanding, the deceased will be remembered as one who tried to play his part in the time and circumstances available to him and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.