By Uche Amunike
Professor Pat Utomi, Olisa Agbakoba, Olawale Okunniyi and other activists under the platform of the Pro-National Conference Organizations and Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), have issued a statement confirming Tony Uranta’s death which took place Wednesday, after losing the battle to an undisclosed illness.
The group, on behalf of the Nigerian Civil Society Movement, extolled the late activist’s various contributions towards advocating for the constitutional restructuring of Nigeria, regardless of the major resistance gotten from people who benefit from the corruptive and cynical political structure of the country.
The Director-General of the NIM who also doubles as the spokesperson for PRONACO, Sir Olawale Okunniyi expressed their pain at Tony Uranta’s death in a joint statement as they recalled his contributions to national conferences, with particular reference to the 2014 National Confab, while promising to immortalize his legacy.
The late Uranta was the Executive Secretary of the National Summit Group (NSG) and UNDESS towards the expedition of the 2014 national council which came after he had already played some supportive roles in mobilizing Nigerians for the People’s National Conference which was hosted by PRONACO between 2005 and 2006, when Chief Tony Enahoro and Professor Wole Soyinka were the leaders.
Okunniyi stated that Tony Uranta’s death will leave a vacuum, but the Leaders of Nigerian Civil Society Movement will immortalize his legacies, especially that of hard work, commitment, uprightness and zeal to do things right at all times.
Uranta is survived by his wife, Baroong Tony-Uranta, a sports analyst with Channels Television and his daughter, Amy.
He prayed for the repose of his soul while asking God to Grant his wife, Baarong and his child, Amy, the fortitude to bear his loss.
Recall that Uranta suffered a partial stroke last year as was made known through a post he made on his social media handle where he admitted that he had been sick for 5 months and paralyzed in First Cardiologists Clinic, Ikoyi where he was semi-comatose, but that he had hopes that he would walk again.
Veteran actress Regina Askia also mourned him on her Facebook page thus: ‘Tony has come home to rest after a long medical battle. He fought a good fight while here but we believe God needs him now to continue from the other side and to perhaps conquer on his strong belief on justice, equity, peace and unity for Nigeria. Burial will be announced by family.
Tony Uranta’s death also hit his associate, Denja Yacub really hard. Yacub, had this to say: ‘Our ranks have been depleted again! A good friend and great patriot of inestimable essence, Comrade Tony Uranta has gone home. Soft spoken, great mobiliser, highly committed pro-democracy activist, passionate advocate of good governance he was. This is very painful and a great loss. May his soul rest well in eternal peace. May God provide his family all they require to cope with his eternal absence.’
Uranta died at the age of 57.