…Says the last of the titans departs
By Mike Odiakose
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has joined other Nigerians in mourning the tragic loss in the passing on of a foremost nationalist, Zikist and elder statesman, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi (Dara Akunwafor)
In a statement by his Media Office Tuesday, in Abuja, Ngige declared the death of Mbazulike as “an end of an era , the exit of the last of the titans from the firmament of the old Eastern Region !
“ Hitherto, all members of the liberationist class of Zikism – Mokwugo Okoye, Anthony Enaharo, Raji Abdallah, Fred Anyiam, Smart Ebbi, M.C.K Ajuluchukwu, Osita Agwuna, Bob Oguagu have all passed on, leaving Mbazulike to minister to our generation. And now, he has transcended !
“Fortuitously, Mbazulike chose November 1, a day in the Catholic Christian Calendar, when the saints triumphant, those who have worthily done the race, and are now in the beatific bliss, are specially remembered and celebrated. Mbazulike must be a saint too!
“He had joined the Nationalist Movement as a boy after listening to Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s pragmatic emancipation address at Old Market Road Onitsha in the 1940s. From that moment , Mbazulike never looked back until freedom came on October 1, 1960. He was a first republic parliamentarian and later, Transport/Aviation .
“In Mbazulike, the nation has lost so much – patriotism , courage, foresight , doggedness, consistency, cosmopolitanism, stoicism and ethical paternalism. He was an uncommon statesman !
“ I recall how barely a year ago, November 19, 2021, the 93 years old Dara Akunwafor as we all called him, led the Igbo Greats to President Muhammadu Buhari in search of a political solution to the separatist agitations in the South East, following the detention of Nnamdi Kanu. I had facilitated that visit which also had Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezife, Rev. Sunday Onuoha and Ide Goddy Uwazurike in attendance.
“I recall the sentiments Dara had confided in me on the compelling imperative of peace in our zone and the urgency of integrated regional development agenda involving, all leaders – a scared fact all of us leaders, share. Unfortunately Dara has passed on leaving us to soldier on.
“ Ndi-Anambra will not forget in a hurry, how Mbazulike stood on side of the people on July 10 , 2003 and thereafter, to ensure our dear Anambra State was fully liberated from the vicious grip of godfathers at a time, some others ducked, fearing the ferocious Obasanjo’s Federal might. Anambra was subsequently liberated to benefit of all us today.”
Ngige further said the huge debt the present generation owes Mbazulike and his contemporaries in the liberation of Nigeria from the manacles of imperialism, is to ensure a nation where equity, justice and inclusivity, which are the ingredients of peace and progress reign supreme.
“ May God Almighty shine his perpetual light on Mbazulike Amaechi.”