4th August, 2011
More condolence messages have continued to pour into the home of the late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and former Chairman of ANPP.
Umu-Ezeoke, who hailed from Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra, died on Monday at the Fortis Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, India.
Alhaji Danazumi Mohammed, National Secretary of the DPP, said Ume-Ezoeke contributed a lot to the political development of the country in many capacities and that the nation would continue to remember him.
â€œI honestly sympathise with his family as well as his political associates,â€ Mohammed said.
On his part, Bishop Ephraim Ikeakor, Anglican Bishop of Amichi Diocese, Onitsha, Anambra, said Umu-Ezeoke lived for the good of people around him and supported community development efforts.
Ikeakor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that â€œI knew him as a very sincere and straight forward man.â€
â€œHe was a politician with a focus and direction; who was prominent in the national political scene; where he played politics of broadmindedness to all.
â€œHis people down here respected him a lot due to his numerous contributions to the development of Amichi community and Nnewi in general.â€
Dr. Chubah Ezeh, a lecturer in the Political Science Department, Anambra State University, Uli, said the country has lost a colossus of a man with a large heart.
â€œThis is a big loss for ANPP that is trying to re-energise itself to meet up the challenge of taking over power in the country.â€
â€œUme-Ezeoke was a balanced politician, who had pursued nationalistic views.
â€œWe have lost a gem that strongly believed in the co-existence of the country and the need to amend and better our democratic process by enshrining good governance.â€
Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, human rights activist, said it was a pity Nigeria lost a man of compromise, who believed more in moving the country forward.
â€œHis contribution as a Speaker of the House of Representatives between 1979 and 1983 and as the immediate past chairman of ANPP, speaks volume of his belief in democracy.
Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, commended Ume-Ezeokeâ€™s use of dialogue rather than confrontation in all national issues, Dr. Charles Udeh, President, Anambra State Laders of Thought, said he was shocked to hear the news.
â€œIt is a pity and I am very sorry the country lost a big fish, in a humble person as Chief Edwin Umu-Ezeoke.
â€œWe were close for over 30 years and we were still close up to this morning when I heard of his demise. I am yet to recover from the shock caused by the news.â€
Mr. Cassidy Agbai,Chairman of ANPP in Abia, expressed shock over the death of the former speaker.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia that it was unfortunate that this happened at a time the party was re-strategising. â€œWe will miss him dearly.â€
Agbai said the deceased left some indelible marks during his time as national chairman of the party, adding that his ideals were outstanding.
â€œWe will live to remember the elder statesman for who he was and what he represented.â€
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo described the death as a big loss to the political class in the country.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said the late politician left an indelible print in the nationâ€™s political history.
â€œUme-Ezeokeâ€™s contributions to the enthronement of democracy as a member of the G-34 after years of military rule were indelible.