From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has described the death of the former National Vice Chairman of National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, as a huge loss to Nigeria and Africa.
The Ajali, Anambra State -born prolific writer and founder cum chancellor of Eastern Mandate Union (EMU), died on Saturday at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH Enugu at the age of 78.
Ohuabunwa in a condolence message he personally signed extolled the lofty contributions of the former NADECO chieftain in the defense and survival of democracy in Nigeria.
The former Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, described the deceased as ” a true hero of democracy”.
Ohuabunwa recalled the heroic role of the Eastern Mennonite University, USA -trained Historian and Political Scientist in the defense of democracy during the autocractic regime of the late military junta, Gen. Sani Abacha.
Senator Ohuabunwa said he was most pained about the exit of Nwankwo “in view of the fact that he left when Nigeria needed men like him most to navigate through her current political storm “.
Ohuabunwa who said ” Nigerian democracy is under serious threat and needs brave, courageous, intelligent and honest men like Arthur Nwankwo to salvage it from strangulation” regretted that the NADECO chieftain could not live to see democracy take root in Nigeria.
His words : “His death is more painful when one realises that democracy he staked so much to nurture and defend is yet to survive and stabilise before his exit.
” Arthur was one of the few detribalised Nigerians who fought so hard to save our democracy from military emasculation “.
Senator Ohuabunwa said Ndigbo, Nigeria and indeed Africa, had “again lost a rare gem, true patriot and hero of democracy”.
He condoled with the members of the immediate family in particular and the Government of Anambra State in general over the loss.
The senator urged them to take solace in the fact that the deceased lived a heroic life of legacy and sacrifice, adding that he had no doubt that God had already granted his soul eternal repose in the paradise.
Ohuabunwa urged the Federal Government to set up a national monument in his honour “in recognition of his heroic role in the defense of our democracy.”
He also urged the South East Governors to honour him by naming a notable joint asset of the zone after the renowned author and publisher.
The late Nwankwo , a publisher and reputable author with over 27 books to his credit was the Chairman, Fourth Dimension Publishing Company – the largest publishing company in sub-Saharan Africa with over 1,500 titles.