Buhari, Ohanaeze, Obiano others mourn Kanu, Sen Onyeabo
President Muhammadu Buhari, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and Governor Willie Obiano have joined other prominent Nigerians who paid tribute to two prominent sons of Igbo land, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retd) and Senator Onyeabo Chukwunedum Obi.
Kanu, a former military administrator of Lagos and Imo states respectively reportedly died in the early hours of January 13, aged 77. Obi, a Life Bencher and former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was also reported dead on Wednesday, aged 82.
Kanu was a member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) in 1975 under General Olusegun Obasanjo. At the creation of Imo State in 1976, Kanu was appointed the military administrator of Imo State where he made indelible footprints.Until his death, Obi was also a member of the Board of Trustees BoT of the PDP
President in a condolence message by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu ranked the deceased among Nigerians who distinguished themselves in all positions and responsibilities during service. “President Buhari condoles with all professional colleagues of the gallant military officer who distinguished himself in all positions and responsibilities during service, take up more daunting, but historically rewarding challenges like speaking up for the weak and vulnerable and the struggle for the country return to democratic government”, the president said of Kanu.
Ohanaeze, in a statement through its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Ogbonnia said with Kanu and Obi deaths, great irokos had left Ndigbo .
According to Ohanaeze: “As a robust thinker, he engaged the services of town planners to prepare a master plan for Owerri metropolis; built durable roads and was instrumental to increasing the number of local government areas in Imo State to 21.
Among his legacies Ohanaeze said, was the Imo Broadcasting Service (IBS), which went on air in December 1976.Ohanaeze said: “Kanu at various times expressed profound passion for his people by playing several stabilizing roles in Ohanaeze Ndigbo.He was very jovial, personable but firm and courageous in his convictions. Throughout his career history, Kanu remained untainted and exemplary.We are devastated because Ndigbo and Nigeria will miss his disarming intellect and wise counsel.”
On Obi, Ohanaeze said: “During the 1994 National Constitutional Conference, he worked assiduously with the late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chief Emeka Ojukwu and many others to produce an Igbo position paper.
“Like Kanu, the sagacity and outspokenness of Senator Obi will be missed.
Governor Obiano also described Kanu and Obi as exemplary leaders whose immense contributions laid the foundation for the present democratic dispensation in Nigeria.