The body of a former Minister of Transport, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, was buried at his hometown, Asaga in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia on Saturday.
Maduekwe, who was also Minister of Culture and Tourism as well as Foreign Affairs,died at the age of 71. He was buried after a service by the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.
Some of his friends and associates described him as a man of ideas and one who was greatly interested in nation building.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia said that the people of Abia were proud of the deceased because he lived a life worthy of emulation.
Ikpeazu said that the responsibility of living according to the values Maduekwe represented in life rested “on our shoulders’’ and added that Nigeria had lost a great patriot.
The governor described Maduekwe as a wonderful family man, worthy ambassador of Nigeria, a warrior of Asaga community and a hero to the people of Abia.
He said that a lot had been said about the status and personality of the deceased but that the occasion ought to remind everyone about the transient nature of human life.
In his tribute, Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, lauded Maduekwe for his numerous contributions to the development of Nigeria.
Enang said that the deceased was intelligent, dutiful and hardworking and would be dearly missed for his commitment, especially as he still had a lot to contribute to Nigeria’s development.
Also, the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said that it was gratifying to note that ” the late icon, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, lived a life of service to God and his nation.”
Akpabio commiserated with members of the family and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
Earlier in his sermon, the Most Rev Mba Uka, the Prelate of Presbyterian Church, admonished the family to stay united and uphold the legacies left by their patriarch.
Uka said that the deceased had served his purpose on earth and urged Nigerians to engage in honest labour in service to God and humanity.
The ceremony was attended by people from all walks of life.