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Valentine Ozigbo Mourns Nigeria’s First Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi

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Valentine Ozigbo, a prominent Nigerian business leader, has joined millions of Nigerians in mourning the death of Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Nigeria’s first aviation minister and a prominent Zikist Movement member who passed away in the morning of Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

Chief Mbazulike Amaechi died at the age of 93, according to a statement by his family.
“With total deference to the will of the Almighty God, the Ume Amechi, Ezeana Ihinede families and the 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 Amechi (Dara Akunwafor), Nationalist and First Republic Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who transitioned peacefully in the early hours of today November 1, 2022,” the statement read in part.

In extolling the late nationalist, Mr Ozigbo said that his passing was an “end of an important era in Nigeria’s history” as Chief Amechi was the last surviving cabinet member from the First Republic.
Ozigbo, who came 2nd in the keenly contested 2021 Anambra Governorship election, also acknowledged the support and fatherly blessings he received from Chief Amechi during his campaign, and prayed that the soul of the departed would find rest in the bosom of the Lord.
Valentine Ozigbo Mbazulike Amechi
Valentine Ozigbo, the PDP gubernatorial candidate of 2021, pictured in December 2020 with Chief Mbazulike Amechi while paying a courtesy visit to the statesman in his Nnewi residence. | Onyinye Omah/VCO Campaign Organisation
“My family and I received with sadness the news of the death of Chief Mbazulike Amechi, is a highly respected elder statesman who was elected a member of the Federal House of Representatives in 1959 and was appointed as Minister of Aviation and Transportation in 1962.
“Chief Amechi’s passing marks the end of an important era in Nigeria’s history as the only surviving cabinet member from the First Republic, he was the custodian of the history of significant political events in our country.
“Chief Amechi, popularly known as “The Boy is Good”, was a staunch ally of Nigeria’s first President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. He famously housed Nelson Mandela, a prominent anti-apartheid leader, when he fled to Nigeria to escape arrest by South African authorities.
“My governorship bid of last year benefited from Chief Amechi’s wisdom and fatherly blessings. He courageously endorsed my candidacy in his country home in Ukpor, Nnewi South, on Thursday, December 24, 2020. It is a day I will never forget.
“I extend my condolences to the entire Amechi family. I pray that the soul of the great statesman will find its way home to the bosom of the Almighty and that the Holy Spirit will comfort the family he left behind. Amen,” Ozigbo ended.

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