BY PETER OKORE and OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
Eminent Nigerians have continued to pay their tributes to the first son of Nigeria’s first President, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, Chief Chukwuma Bamidele Azikwe who is also the Owelle of Onitsha following his demise two days ago. Nigerians have described the late Owelle as a perfect gentleman who contributed his own quota to the development of the country in his own right. Part of those who commented on his demise was the National Chairman of the Igbo Socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, who described the late Azikwe as a trustworthy Nigerian.
He stated that Azikwe came to the world to do his best but that he couldn’t do what his father( Dr Nnamdi Azikwe) did by fighting for the emancipation of Nigeria.
“He came to do his best; he could not do what his father Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe did fighting for the freedom of Nigeria. He has done well as Owelle of Onitsha and as a trustworthy Nigerian from the South East”, said Uwazurike.
In his own comments, the Presidential candidate of the United Peoples Party (UPP) in the last Presidential election, Chief Chekwas Okorie, described the late Azikwe as well brought up gentleman who was a successful career officer as an Ambassador. He added that the late Chukwuma Azikwe lived up to the expectation as Owelle of Onitsha but was unable to march his traditional rulership with the political activities in the South East.
“He was a gentleman well brought up. He did not step into the shoe of his father politically. He lived up to the expectation as Owelle of Onitsha. He is a successful career officer as an Ambassador but it is
just that he could not march the traditional rulership with the political activities in South East. May his soul rest in peace”, said Okorie.
Also Abia state governor, Chief T.A Orji has expressed shock over Chukwuma Azikiwe’s death at the age of 75. He died at Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha, after a long fight with respiratory related ailment.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, the Governor commiserated with the former first family of the nation on the sad loss, urging the family members and the people of Anambra
State to bear Chukwuma’s demise with fortitude.
He said that the late Chukwuma who was addressed in Onitsha as Owelle, replacing his late father in 1996, would be missed by all. The Abia Governor prayed God to grant late Chukwuma Azikiwe’s soul eternal peace.
Also a prominent legal luminary, Professor Itse Sagay, described him as a great man in his own right.
“He is a great man in his own right. He stepped in his father’s shoe as Owelle of Onitsha but he found it impossible to follow his father’s footsteps in terms of Nationalism.
Although, he is a good man as a Nigerian and Ambassador, but it is quite unfortunate that he cannot be compared with his father in terms of achievement”, said Sagay.
Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe, who was the first son of first President of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, passed away at Bromeo Hospital on Sunday at the age of 75. It was gathered that he had been battling a protracted respiratory-related ailment for some years.