Nigeria lost one of its statesmen when Chief Ojo Maduekwe, a former minister of foreign affairs, lawyer and politician, has passed away at the age of 71 on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
Maduekwe, who was until his death the secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, died shortly after taking ill. According to family sources, the late politician passed away on the way to the National Hospital in Abuja. He recently returned from a trip to the United States of America.
Chief Ojo Maduekwe has held a number of high profile positions in government and in politicas including Nigerian ambassador to Canada (2011-2015); minister of foreign affairs; minister of transport (2000-2003); minister of culture and tourism (1990-2000); legal and constitutional adviser to the president (2003-2005); member, National Assembly (Second Republic) in 1983; member, Constitutional Assembly (1988-1990); member, National Constitutional Conference (1994-1995); and adviser to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) chairman (1990-1992).
Maduekwe also once served as the adviser to the minister of foreign affairs (1993-1995); member, National Boundaries Adjustment Commission (1997-1998) and was elected a senator in 1998 in the Third Republic.
Maduekwe was born on May 6, 1945 in Ohafia, Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. He graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a law degree in 1972, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1973.
Chief Maduekwe was once the national secretary of the PDP in 2005 and had worked as the deputy director of the PDP Presidential Campaign in 2011 for the Goodluck/Sambo ticket.
A erudite scholar and newspaper columnist, Madukwe belonged to many professional bodies including the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), American Bar Association and International Bar Association, and was until his passing a Senior Partner of Maduekwe & Co.
An elder in the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Maduekwe was also a Paul Harns Fellow in the Rotary Club.