Nigeria’s former minister of aviation , Mbazulike Amaechi dies at 93


Nigeria’s former minister of aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi is dead . He died on Tuesday,November 1, in his home town ,Ukpor, Anambra state, , at the age of 93.

A statement issued  on Tuesday by his eldest son, Ezeana Amaechi, on behalf of the family, said the elder statesman died in the early hours of the day.

The statement reads in parts:

“With total deference to the will of the Almighty God, the Ume Amaechi, Ezeana Ihidede families and Umu Mmara kindred of Amihe Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State announce the peaceful transition of our illustrious son, father and grandfather, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi,” the statement read in part.

“We thank God for the fulfilled life that he lived, the lives he touched and service to God and country,” the family said.

 Amaechi, a nationalist, was among those who fought for the independence of Nigeria from Great Britain As a secondary school student,  Amaechi had joined a group led by Nnamdi Azikiwe, called the Zikist Movement, to push for the country’s independence

He was said to have taken an oath alongside other nationalists never to marry until Nigeria got her independence.

He was a trade unionist and general secretary of the armels transport union as well as assistant secretary of Benin and Warri Districts of the Zikist Movement.

Amaechi on 18 November 1949, had organised a protest rally of all workers in Benin and its environs and demanded adequate punishment for the alleged murderers of 18 workers of the Nigerian Coal Corporation in Enugu State who were reportedly participating in strike action to press home their demands for seniority pay for the workers.

He was elected member of the House of Representatives, in 1959, on the platform of the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizens. He was later appointed minister of aviation and transport in 1962.

He remained the minister until the country’s first military coup on 15 January 1966.

As a minister, Amaechi reportedly hid the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, for six months in Nigeria to prevent his arrest by officials of the apartheid regime in that country.

Recently , he led a delegation of prominent Igbo leaders to President Muhammadu Buhari to request the release of Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra.

Amaechi had said repeatedly that Kanu’s release would end the spate of insecurity in the South East.

His died one year after he lost his wife, Chinelo Amaechi, who died at the age of 91.

Late Mbazulike Amaechi

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