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Senator Uche Chukwumerije dies at 75

By The Rainbow
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Senator Uche Chukwumerije, a former Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, is dead. He died on Sunday in a Turkish Hospital in Abuja at the age of 75.

He was a three-time senator that represented Abia North and was first elected into the Senate in 2003.

Chika Chukwumerije, son of the deceased told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that his father died of lung cancer at exactly 4.30 p.m., on Sunday.

“We are trying to organise some things; he died at exactly 4.30 p.m., this evening. He died here in Abuja and was surrounded by his friends before his last breath.

He has been an inspiration in ways I cannot explain,'' Chika said.

Chika also told NAN that burial arrangements would be communicated once it had been concluded.

Chukwumerije, elected a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in April 2003, represented Abia North Senatorial District.

He served as minister of information in the dying days of the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida and later served in the same capacity in the interim national government of Ernest Shonekan. Chukwumerije was rumoured to have slumped and died in 2014 after the legislator lost his return bid to the Senate in a PDP primary election.

The rumour was later described as the handiwork of “a few ungodly and irresponsible individuals.”

In a reaction to news of Chukwumerije's death, the Senate President, David Mark, expressed shock.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Paul Mumeh, Mark said Nigeria has lost an erudite and extra ordinary nationalist.

He noted that Chukwumerije was one of the outstanding senators in the National Assembly.

“He radiated intelligence, exemplary conduct in both public and private life. He was a team player who brought meaning to hard work. He was a shining light and a pathfinder, who was focused and determined to make positive difference.

“He was also a consummate and passionate Nigerian who believed in the sanctity of the peace and unity of the nation. No doubt he left a vacuum that would be too hard to fill; we shall miss him,'' the statement quoted Mark as saying

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