LAGOS, JULY 1, 2016 – Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on Thursday night described former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe’s death as a big loss to the diplomatic community and Nigeria.
Anyaoku said on the sidelines of the celebration of the 240th Independence Anniversary of the U.S. in Lagos, that Maduekwe would be missed by the People’s Democratic Party(PDP).
‘’Ojo’s sudden death is shocking and most unexpected. Ojo really achieved distinction in combining distinctions in local Nigerian politics and in foreign affairs.
‘’Ojo was the Secretary of his party, the PDP and its Board of Trustees. He was also a Foreign Minister of this country, and in that capacity introduced the policy of Citizen Diplomacy.
‘’I think that Nigeria has lost a true patriot, who throughout his career had always strived to give his best to his fatherland,’’ he said.
Anyaoku recalled the role the late Maduekwe played in supporting him when he led the Presidential Delegation to President Barack Obama’s first inauguration ceremony in the U.S.
The former Commonwealth scribe also recalled the inspiring interactions he had had with Maduekwe when he was on the Presidential Advisory Body on International Relations.
Anyaoku said that he was particularly excited with the late Maduekwe’s passion and commitment to promoting national interest.
‘’So, I think it is goodbye to the father of Nigeria’s citizen diplomacy.
‘’And I hope that his legacy would be learnt and emulated by upcoming diplomats in this country,’’ he said.
Anyaoku also advised Nigerians who embark on long flights to be careful and learn to get up and walk around during flights, to avoid thrombosis.
He said that it was also important for them to adapt themselves to the wearing of flight socks during international flights.