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Veteran journalist, Uche Ezechukwu, dies after cryptic message

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By Olisemeka Obeche

Nigeria’s first-generation media guru, Uche Ezechukwu joined his ancestors last weekend. Ezechukwu died just over three weeks after sending a cryptic message on Facebook while reacting to death of two his journalists, Sam Nda-Isaiah and Tony Momoh.

The post, which turned out to be his last comment on the social media platform read: “The trumpet is sounding so loudly and so frequently. And our comrades are heeding the call. In that Gana Street office alone. Sam Nda, Tony Momoh, etc. When will it be my turn? Only God knows. None can evade or avoid its call. Oh God, keep us ready at all times,” Onukwube as he is fondly called wrote on February 2, 2021.

An author and columnist, Ezechukwu was a former member of The Sun Editorial Board before joining The Authority newspaper. He hailed from Amesi in Aguata local government area of Anambra state.

Since his passage was announced over the weekend, mourners have been commiserating with the family, paying tributes to him while making reference to his comment. Sam Anokam wrote: “I fell in love with his articles in the Sun newspaper way before I joined them! He was a great mind that would be sorely missed! Adieu great man!

Ikem Okuhu, a journalist also said: “One of the greatest journalist par excellence till the very end. Big pain is I never got to meet you face to face even as we were in constant touch. They said you knew. Yes, you said so…you knew. Journey well Great Sir Uche Ezechukwu

Kemi Yesufu, a social commentator recalls her encounter with the deceased. “I only met Oga Uche, who I fondly called by his title, Onukwube 1 of Ndigbo, a couple of times, never worked with him. But typical of my liking and respecting highly cerebral and witty individuals, Onukwube was one person I held in high esteem and always expressed my fondness and respect for. I remember he shared a post on FB weeks back wondering if he would soon join close friends who died recently. I was among those who rushed to comment on the post asking that he shouldn’t speak of death. Alas, Onukwube foresaw his death and, like he predicted, has joined his friends Sam Nda-Isaiah and Prince Tony Momoh on the other side.

“Onukwube was a phenomenal wordsmith who wrote excellently well in English, French and German. He established a few newspapers and magazines in his long career in journalism. He also authored a few books, I supported him as head usher, when he hosted the public presentation of his last book, Ojukwu: The Rebel I Served.

“He was a great conversationalist. He would state his opinion on issues from the sublime to the most banal. I remember the few times I gisted with him; I learned a thing or two, yet laughing at some of his wise quips.

“Onukwube was proudly Igbo, but still a strong believer in a Nigeria which its existence is well negotiated and jointly agreed to. With his death, Nigeria has lost a long-standing member of its intelligentsia and patriot.  May his soul rest in peace. Amen,” Kemi concluded.

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