Nwankwo: Ndigbo, Nigeria have lost a voice for equitable country, says Ngige



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Nwankwo: Ndigbo, Nigeria have lost a voice for equitable country, says Ngige

By Emmanuel Oladesu and Frank Ikpefan, Abuja



 

Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige on Monday said the death of activist and writer, Chief Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo, is a huge loss to Nigeria and Ndigbo in the struggle for a fair and just country.



The minister mourned the demise of the former Vice Chairman of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).

Nwankwo died on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the University Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu State.

He was 78.

Ngige said the late Nwankwo was a patriot whose progressive ideas, though not antithetical to the prevailing republican ethos of the oriental Nigeria, made less appreciable inroad.

In a statement on Monday in Abuja by his Special Adviser (SA) on Media, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, the minister described the late Nwankwo as “as an epitome of an untiring quest for knowledge, courageous defence of the just and unhindered thoughts for the liberation of the downtrodden”

The statement reads: “Ndigbo and in deed the nation have lost another giant in the struggle for fair and equitable Nigeria. Arthur was a patriot whose progressive ideas, though not antithetical to the prevailing republican ethos of the oriental Nigeria, yet made less appreciable inroad.

“Despite this, he was no less appreciated. But like other progressives, including Aminu Kano and Samuel Gumsu Ikoku, he was relatively misunderstood.

“However, what he lost to a locale that is somewhat unfertile for the rapid germination of the seeds of progressivism, he bountifully gained through his vast publications that have formed a deep mine of ideas from which future generations of Nigerians will draw. Arthur immortalised himself.”

Also, NADECO has mourned Nwankwo’s death.

The coalition described him as a national icon dedicated to ideological and intellectual interrogations of critical national issues and the search for solutions.

 NADECO chieftain, Arthur Nwankwo is dead

NADECO National Secretary Ayo Opadokun recalled that as an activist-publisher, the deceased was a torn in the flesh of misguided military and civilians regimes.

Opadokun said the late Nwankwo was vilified, oppressed, detained and molested by repressive governments.

He added: “Many will remember his encounter with one of the rulers of the Igbo nation in the Second Republic when Nwankwo was charged with sedition and the state High Court got him convicted and imprisoned.

“On his appeal by the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Olu Onagoruwa, the conviction was quashed and he was discharged and acquitted at the Court of Appeal. Nwankwo published the proceedings of the trial at both the Enugu High Court as well as the Court of Appeal.”

Opadokun also recalled that the late Nwankwo established the National Outlook Newspapers when the military, led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, staged another insurrection against the Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s government on December 31, 1983.

He said: “Activist Nwankwo later on enlarged his activism reputation when he set up the EMU with younger and vibrant ideologues to sensitise, inform and mobilise Nigerians and the Igbo nation in particular to join forces with NADECO, the platform established by most activists, credible political and retired military leaders, professional groups, civil society groups, students, ethnic nationalities, academics students, among others, for a credible campaign against the annulment of the presidential election victory of Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola in the June 12, 1993 election and for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to discuss and resolve the Nigerian national question once and for all times…”

Nwankwo: Ndigbo, Nigeria have lost a voice for equitable country, says Ngige

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