Senator Uche Chukwumerije, representing Abia North Senatorial District and Chairman, Senate Committee on Education has finally kicked the proverbial bucket after a long battle with lung cancer. He gave up the ghost yesterday, 19th April, 2015 at the Turkish Hospital, Abuja, surrounded by his family members at the age of 75.
A statement released by the family, read:
“On the evening of Sunday, the 19th of April, 2015, surrounded by his family, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije passed into the open arms of history, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, after a long but gallant battle with lung cancer,” the statement said.
“His life is many volumes, which can only be told with care and time, of dedication and focus, integrity and discipline, and an unbroken love for the highest ideals of our shared humanity.
“Details of burial arrangements will be announced in due course. We ask only for your prayers and good wishes.”
Mr. Chukwumerije has been one of the prominent political figures in Nigeria, particularly from the South-Eastern region. He served as a Federal Minister of Information in the Ernest Shonekan-led Interim Government which was abruptly put to the sword by the military juta of Late General Sani Abacha, whose regime he was also part of. Until his death, he was a serving senator. He served in the Senate since 1999 to 2011. He won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999, 2003 and 2011, while in 2007, he was elected under the platform of the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA).
According to Wikipedia,
Uche Chukwumerije (born November 1939) was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in April 2003, representing Abia North Senatorial District.
Chukwumerije served as minister of information in the dying days of the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida. Chukwumerije served as minister of information in the interim national government of Ernest Shonekan.
His son Chika won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Uche funded his training.
His other son, Dikeogu Egwuatu Chukwumerije, is a writer and a performance poet. He also hosts the Abuja Literary Society (ALS)’s Night of Spoken Words. He has written books like The African American, One Nigeria: The Birth and Evolution of an Idea, The Revolution Has No Tribe: Contemporary Poetry on African History, Culture and Society Co-written with Azuka Juachi Okonji, Strategic Love: Simple Rules That Make Love Work and many others. He also did a tribute to the legendary Chinua Achebe titles ‘Nna Anyi, Is It True?’ after his demise. His writings can be found on dikechukwumerije.blogspot.com Dike is married with children.
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. Chukwumerije studied economics at the University of Ibadan.
Chukwumerije was re-elected on the PDP platform in the April 2011 elections.
In this trying times for the PDP, the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije will be a huge blow to the party who seek to re-organised themselves and kick-start a fresh journey to wrest power from the APC who defeated them significantly at the just concluded polls in the country. The Senate President, David Mark and also other prominent members of the party have since been offering their condolences.