Report revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, on Monday extended condolences to the Chukwumerije family as well as the government and people of Abia State on the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije.
The condolence messages were contained in separate statements issued in Abuja.
The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, also commiserated with the Senate on the death of Chukwumerije, who he described as an ardent believer in national unity, peace, political stability and progress. Jonathan said he joined them in mourning the late “patriot and nationalist”, who, he said, had left behind an impressive legacy of discipline, honesty, integrity and hard work in public service.
The statement read, “President Jonathan believes that the late Senator Chukwumerije, who had a distinguished career as a journalist, social critic, Minister of Information and senator, will be long remembered for his dedication and passion for a just and equitable society.
“As the nation mourns him, the President urges Senator Chukwumerije’s family, friends and associates to honour his memory by continually upholding the values and principles which he lived for and never stopped fighting for till his death.
“President Jonathan prays that Almighty God will comfort all who mourn him and grant his soul perfect peace.”
Mrs. Jonathan, in a statement by her spokesman, Ayo Adewuyi, said she sympathised with the Abia State government over Chukwumerije’s death.
The President’s wife described the deceased as an astute politician who made his mark in the political equation of Nigeria and Abia State in particular.
The statement read, “Dame Patience Jonathan praises his (Chukwumerije) legislative acumen and experience which were brought to bear on the Senate Committee on Education, which he chaired until his demise.
“She says the death of Senator Chukwumerije is no doubt a painful loss, not only to the family but to his colleagues in the National Assembly, numerous friends, well-wishers and the nation.
“Mrs. Jonathan said as a daughter of Abia State and mother of the nation, her thoughts are with you and the entire people of Abia at this time of grief.”
Also, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has described the death of Chukwumerije as a monumental loss to the state, Ndigbo and Nigeria at large.
Orji, in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, expressed shock over the death of the senator.
He said the deceased would be remembered for his contributions on the floor of the Senate as well as his efforts in building a strong and united Nigeria.
The governor also said that Chukwumerije would be remembered for his “outspokenness and fearlessness in national discourse”, adding that apart from distinguishing himself in many fields, the deceased “carved a niche for himself both as a politician and statesman.”
Also, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Abubakar Saraki , described the death of Chukwumerije as shocking.