30 June 2016
Nigeria’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, is dead.
Maduekwe died in Abuja on Wednesday night at the age of 71.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maduekwe changed the face of Nigeria’s interaction with rest of the world.
He constantly canvassed for the widening of Nigeria’s engagement with Asian countries like China and Korea as opposed with what he met on ground when Nigeria was largely engaging with Europe and North America.
He was also one-time minister of transport. It was this time that he canvassed that Nigerians should diversify means of mobility from petroleum products-powered vehicles, to include bicycles in the mix.
This, he argued, would not only reduce demand on petroleum products and impact positively on the then incessant fuel scarcity, but also help to improve the health and well-being of bicycle users.
Reports said he took ill on his homeward journey from the U.S. and died before medics could salvage the situation.
Maduekwe was one-time General Secretary of the then ruling PDP and lately Secretary of the party’s Board of Trustees.
A bridge-builder, Maduekwe was also at the forefront of uniting his political party which had been witnessing some turmoil in the last couple of months.
Many of his political associates have been speaking glowingly of the attributes of the departed political juggernaut.
A close associate and also former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Frank Nweke, said: “this reminds me of the transient nature of human life.
“Ojo was one of Nigeria’s best minds, selfless, dedicated and patriotic.
“It is sad for the country to miss him at this time when we are faced with a situation requiring the best of intellect, astuteness and patriotism.’’