By Uche Amunike
The death has been announced of former governor of Anambra State, Chinwoke Mbadinuju.
According to a statement signed by his first son, Chetachi Mbadinuju, the former governor died peacefully after a brief illness, Tuesday, at the National Hospital, Abuja at the age of 78 and arrangements for his funeral would be made known to the public in due course.
Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Mbadinuju family as well as the government and people of Anambra state over their loss.
Speaking, through a statement released by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, Tuesday, he stated that the Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration birthed a legacy of peace and development in the state. He also posited that the late governor’s administration made history by putting an end to the age long era of violent communal clashes in Umuleri and Aguleri between 1999 and 2003. This, he said, will forever form an important part of the history of the state.
It was also during his tenure that he made a bold statement in entrepreneurship and quality education by establishing the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, which was formerly known as Anambra State University.
Buhari also lauded the late Chinwoke Mbadinuju for his determination, as a seasoned lawyer and academic journalist in empowering and inspiring the youths by making them believe in the power of their dreams and achieving their potentials. He also called on family and friends, colleagues and well wishers to reflect on the contributions of the late lawyer in building lives and communities.
He prayed for the repose of the soul of the former governor and hoped that his death will be a blessing and inspiration to all that he left behind.
Governor Soludo has also conveyed his condolences to the family of the late Chimaroke Mbadinuju, the indigenes of Uli community, where he hailed from, as well as the people of Anambra state.
Speaking, through a statement signed by his spokesperson, Christian Aburime, Soludo lauded the late statesman for being the force behind the passing of the law that gave rise to the Anambra State University, Uli, including so many others legacy projects.
He made a plea to the family of the late governor to sustain his great legacies and prayed for the repose of his soul.
In retrospect, the late Mbadinuju became governor of Anambra state on May 29, 1999, through May 29, 2003 under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was denied the party’s ticket under controversial circumstances, when he sought for re-election during an internal crisis within the party. Dr Chris Ngige eventually clinched the ticket ahead of the election on 19 April 2003. At that point, Mbadinuju defected to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) party where he eventually won in the governorship primaries, but lost in the general election.
Ngige was declared winner of the election but later sacked by the Court of Appeal in Enugu, after three years.
Mbadinuju served as Personal Assistant to the former governor of Enugu state, Jim Nwobodo between 1979 and 1980 and former Nigerian Head of State, Shehu Shagari, between 1980 and 1983.