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Odumegwu Ojukwu's Place In Nigerian History Is Assured - Jonathan

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President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has received with much sadness and a deep feeling of great national loss, the news of the passing away of Chief Chukwemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in the United Kingdom.

A statement issued by Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) and made available to / said, 'President Jonathan joins Chief Ojukwu's family, the government and people of his home state, Anambra, the entire Igbo people of Nigeria and his friends, associates and followers across the country in mourning him.

'The President urges them to be comforted by the knowledge that Chief Ojukwu  lived a most fulfilled life, and has in passing on, left behind a record of very notable contributions to the evolution of modern Nigeria which will assure his place in the history of the country.

'President Jonathan believes  that late Chief Ojukwu's immense love for his people, justice, equity and fairness which forced him into the leading role he played in the Nigerian civil war, as well as his commitment to reconciliation and the full reintegration of his people into a united and progressive Nigeria in the aftermath of the war, will ensure that he is remembered forever as one of the great personalities  of his time who stood out easily as a brave, courageous, fearless, erudite and charismatic leader.

'The President calls on Chief Ojukwu's family, his associates and followers to make his rites of passage a celebration of his most worthy and memorable life spent in the service of his people and the nation.

'He prays that God Almighty will grant Chief Ojukwu's soul eternal rest from his earthly labours.

In the same vein, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has expressed shock at the untimely death of Chief Emeka Ojukwu, the Ikemba of Nnewi.

Governor Uduaghan in a statement, signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Sunny Ogefere, lamented the death of Chief Ojukwu. The governor described his death as 'a sad loss to the country whose initial news of recovery from his hospital bed had gladdened his heart, only for the shock announcement of his demise.'

Governor Uduaghan in his condolence message to the family, the government and people of Anambra State over Ojukwu's death recalled that he was in his life a colossus who made significant contribution to the growth and development of the country.

'Chief Ojukwu was in his life time a bright and courageous military officer, politician of immense talent, capable administrator, who even though led a secessionist struggle, came back from exile to participate in deepening the process of healing and reconciliation of the country.

'Ojukwu until his death was a strong proponent of handshake across the Niger, a vision he promoted to reconcile the peoples of south-south and South east as part of efforts to heal the wounds of the civil war. I am sure history will be kind to him.'

He prayed God to grant the family, the people and government of Anambra state the fortitude to bear the loss.