From Chinedu Nwafor Abakaliki
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has mourned Nigeria first Aviation Minster, Chief Mbazulike Amechi.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a statement made available to Journalists in Enugu on Tuesday by Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo recalled Mr Mbaluike’s contributions in the struggle for independence.
The statement said: “On several occasions, he was arrested and detained by the colonial authorities and in more than two occasions he preferred imprisonment instead of bowing to the oppressors.
The statement added: “Other courageous youths who volunteered in that sacred obligation include Osita Agwuna, Nduka Eze, Mokwugo Okoye, Raji Abdallah, Ikenna Nzimiro, Anthony Enahoro, among others.
“What really added to the Amaechi mystique was that the more the incarceration, the more popular The Boy is Good became. It is a tribute to a rare courage, uncompromising principle, sacrifice, stoic heroism, patriotic dispositions and extra-ordinary faith in the struggle for Nigerian independence that earned Amaechi the Member of the Parliament at a very young age of 29, parliamentary Secretary and subsequently the Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the First Republic.
When last the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by
“Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, CON paid a courtesy call on Amaechi, we were happy to discover that those passionate, revolutionary, oratorical, edifying zest and robust intellect that characterize freedom fighters were still very intact in him.
“It is regrettable that the last wish Chief Amaechi presented to President Muhammadu Buhari was rebuffed; Amaechi made his way to Aso Rock and pleaded that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu be released to him on trust. Secondly, Amaechi, on hearing that Buhari was to visit Ebonyi State, earlier this year, in spite of his old age, reactivated his combative paws and reflexes to meet Mr. President. At Abakiliki, Chief Amaechi in an uncommon oratorical skill, spoke pointedly but passionately to President Buhari on why Nnamdi Kanu should be released to him.
“Furthermore, Amaechi’s voice waxed eloquent to the universal advocacy that it is the turn of the South East to produce a president in Nigeria.
“Mbazulike’s roles in public life were diverse. In 1963, when the obnoxious Apartheid regime in South Africa was at its peak, in connivance with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the freedom fighter, Dr. Nelson Mandela escaped South Africa and the home of Chief Amaechi, in Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State, was considered the most suitable; perhaps because both of them shared common experiences in colonial pathologies.
“Mandela stayed in Ukpor for about six months. It was on departure from Lagos in 1963 that the Apartheid regime traced him and arrested him on arrival at Johannesburg. And today, Mandela, Azikiwe, Osita Agwuna, Nduka Eze, Mokwugo Okoye, Raji Abdallah, Ikenna Nzimiro, Anthony Enahoro, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Aminu Kano, Amaechi , etc have joined the Saints Triumphant and have gained freedom from the Nigerian provenance, full of corruption, injustice, inexplicable oddities and vicious circles.
“Obiozor is deeply pained over this irreparable loss; but adds that the life of Amaechi is a veritable lesson in uprightness, selflessness and heroism.
“On behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and indeed all the Igbo sons and daughters, we pray that the Almighty will grant the soul of Chief Mbazulike Amaechi an eternal rest in his bosom.”