Abuja – The Senate of Nigeria has announced the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije in the evening of Sunday April 19, 2015 in the Turkish Hospital, Abuja, at the age of 75 years.
According to a statement issued by the Senate Spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia) described the lawmaker as “political giant and one of the nation’s finest legislator.” Chukwumerije was until his death the Chairman, “Senate Committee on Education”. Abaribe stated that the lawmaker who represented Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State in the current senate easily passes as a repository of legislative tradition and practice.
“The Senate will surely miss his erudite contributions on the floor of the chamber and his painstaking approach to committee work. Chukwumerije was indeed an embodiment of legislative tradition and consummate activists democrat who loved his people passionately”, he said.
Senator Chukwumerije served as minister of information under General Ibrahim Babangida and under the Interim National Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan.
“In the Fourth Republic, Chukwumerije was elected to the Senate on the Peoples Democratic Party’s platform, but he fell out of favor with the party’s leadership when he opposed the Third Term Agenda. Chukwumerije eventually decamped to the Progressive Peoples Alliance in 2006, and was reelected to the Senate on April 28, 2007. Chukwumerije is divorced with 7 children,
Later on Chukwumerije rejoined PDP and was reelected on the PDP platform in the April 2011 elections. He died in office of lung cancer in 2015. Below is the profile of Senator posted on senatorchukwumerije.net
Movement for African Union 1962 – 1965
Socialist Agit-Prop Group 1964 – 1966
Progressive Thinkers Forum 1965 – 1966
Christian Unity Band 1991In 1961, his socialist vision inspired him to join the Socialist Workers and Farmers Party (SWAFP), led by Dr. Otegbeye.At the end of the war in 1970, he founded AFRICOPE, the first continental mouthpiece of the African continent with circulation all over Anglophone Africa. By 1983 when the magazine folded up because of his heavy commitments to what he cherished as a superior cause namely the fight for the masses in Aminu Kano’s PRP, Chukwumerije has emerged the first journalist to interview Presidents or heads of states of all Independent African states. He infact spearheaded a successful media campaign for Nigeria’s recognition of the regime of Dr. Augustinho Neto in war-torn Angola. For three years, as PRP laboured against odds to win seats in Nigeria’s two national elections, Chukwumerije rose from the post of Publicity Secretary to Secretary General. Till today he values Aminu Kano and Aminu Kano’s PRP as the role model for Nigerias political class.
It should also be mentioned that between 1991 and 1992 he took a Diploma in Theology at Faith Bible College, Otta. Infact, he was in the middle of a degree programme in Theology when he was appointed Federal Minister of Information. Marxism, Spirituality and God also play significant roles in his life.
In the contemporary Nigerian political terrain, Chukwumerije has remained an enigmatic figure and a prominent voice. As is well-known, he was Federal Minister of Information in 1992. Since 2003, he has been a three-term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In that position he has functioned in over five Senate Committees and was also a member of ECOWAS Parliament. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education.
Although now a politician, Senator Chukwumerije is a man who will not be deceived by dishonest political posturing and grandstanding. Hence, his ability to abandon any party which deviates from laid-down principles because of greed and corruption. He is not intolerant, but he will not suffer fools gladly. He is resolute, but not reckless, and in all his actions honour and principle remain the guilding beacons. He is not a tribalist, but he will not stand idly by and watch an Igbo man or indeed any other Nigerian robbed of his or her right.