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Former Foreign Affairs Minister Ojo Maduekwe Dies At 71

Ambassador Ojo MaduekweSecretary of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Chief Ojo Maduekwe has died at the age of 71. Maduekwe served variously as Minister of Culture and tourism, and Minister of Transport in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration and also Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Yar’Adua administration.

He also served as National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Maduekwe was mourned last night by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who described him as a “political colossus, public administrator par excellence and uncommon patriot who gave his best to the fatherland.”

Maduekwe Following the exit of Obasanjo from power, he served as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada during the Umar Yar‘adua presidency. He was an unwavering associate of former President Obasanjo in the period between 1999 and 2007 and was pivotal to the development of some of the most cardinal political and policy programmes of that administration.

Even before bicycles exchange programmes became a central policy of many European and American cities, Maduekwe as Nigeria’s minister of transport had advocated the use of bicycles as a major mode of intra-city transport and demonstrated his passion when he rode on a bicycle to a meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja.

Maduekwe was a central player in the politics of Abia State and represented the state at several levels. As a matter of irony, one of Maduekwe’s first political rivals, Senator Onyeka Okoroafor who fought off Madukwe’s bid to the Abia Central Senatorial District in 1991 himself died last February and is yet to be buried. Many Ibo leaders including officials of the Abia State administration were yesterday comforting the family.

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