Ford Foundation rep Innocent Chukwuma is dead

Innocent Chukwuma

Innocent Chukwuma

Innocent Chukwuma
Innocent Chukwuma, former West Africa Ford Foundation’s representative

By Muhaimin Olowoporoku

Nigerian Civil Society Leader and former West Africa Ford Foundation’s representative, Innocent Chukwuma is dead.

He died Saturday evening of blood cancer aged 55 according to his friend, Edetaen Ojo.

“With profound shock & sadness, I regret to inform you that Innocent Chukwuma passed away a few hours ago, in the evening of April 3. May his soul rest in peace” announced Ojo.

Ojo, a friend to Mr. Chukwuma is a frontline freedom of expression advocate and executive director of the Media Rights Agenda.

The deceased was popular as a student union activist at the University of Nigeria, where he read religious studies in the ’90s.

Chukwuma after graduation joined a cluster of young activists who came to bloom at the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Nigeria’s first human rights organization led by Olisa Agbakoba.

Mr. Chidi Odinkalu, a former chairman of the Nigeria Human Rights Commission who worked alongside the deceased described him as a companion and faithful friend.

“I knew him for nearly 35 [and] I am grateful for the privilege,” Mr. Odinkalu said, recalling that “In all things, as my late mum always said, we must learn to give thanks … he was a man of decency.”

Mr. Chukwuma served previously as the Ford Foundation’s representative for West Africa after his master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Leicester in the UK.

Chukwumma’s death came as Nigeria’s civil society community still grieves from the demise of Yinka Odumakin, a political activist who succumbed to COVID-19 complications on Saturday morning.

Chukwumma’s death has led to another round of mourning in the country as several people are paying tribute to the late Civil Society Leader.

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