Ogbonnaya Onu’s death, national tragedy – Ebonyi APC, others

Ogbonnaya Onu’s death, national tragedy – Ebonyi APC, others

Some political leaders in Ebonyi have described the sudden demise of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Abia state governor, and former minister of Science and Innovation under President Muhmmadu Buhari as a “national tragedy”.

Onu died at an undisclosed hospital in Abuja on April 11.

The leaders who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abakaliki at separate interviews described the minister as a “detribalised Nigerian and a man who always stood for the truth”.

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Chief Eze Nwachukwu, member representing Ohaukwu/Ebonyi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said that Nigeria had been robbed of a political giant and truth-bearer.

Nwachukwu, who served as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under Onu as the leader of the party, also said that Ebonyi had lost a great son and path-finder who worked tirelessly to birth the ruling APC.

Speaking on the legacies of the politician, Nwachukwu noted that Onu was a foremost nationalist and a detribalised Nigerian who sacrificed his personal pleasure and interest for the good of all Nigerians.

He said that the birth of the now ruling APC in 2014 was the brain-child of the former Abia state governor which he sold to other opposition politicians.

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“Well, I’m very saddened about the news of his demise; it came quite unexpected and we never expected him to leave us at this critical time, his contributions, his experience as a scientist, a politician and as a leader of repute were needed.

“His impact as a nationalist, a detribalised Nigerian and as a man who stood for truth, lived for truth and died for justice will be felt from generation to generation.

“He played fundamental role in the formation of our great party, APC which, for the first time in the political history of the country wrestled power from a ruling party at the centre.

“He sacrificed his position as the national chairman of the All Nigerians People’s Party (ANPP) to form the APC just to give Nigeria leadership and direction at a time it mattered most,” Nwachukwu said.

Also speaking, Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha, state chairman of APC said that the entire Ebonyi and APC family were saddened over the news of death of the minister.

He said: “The news is a sad one, we all know that he was sick sometime and has recovered, we didn’t know that he was going to die so unexpectedly.

“There is nothing we can say, he has contributed his quota in the building of nation.

“He has been an elected governor in the old Abia state, served as a minister , served the country and more particularly Ebonyi, he contributed heavily in the creation of Ebonyi and has been playing advisory role in Ebonyi and APC.

“As a party, we sympathized with President Bola Tinubu, the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party, our governor, Mr Francis Nwifuru.”

Meanwhile, Chief Hyecinth Oteh, a former Chief of Staff (CoS) to the former Gov. Martin Elechi and a close associate of the former minister lamented the unexpected exit of Onu.

Oteh described the late leader of the APC as a “fascinating politician” who enjoined him to always stick with the truth no matter the consequences and he was a man who stood for truth and justice throughout his career as a politician.

He said that Onu worked and dedicated his entire public live for the service of the nation stressing that one of the greatest sacrifices he made for the country was in relinguishing his position as a national chairman of his party to form APC.

“Onu was the man who convinced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former President Muhmmadu Buhari to make sacrifices of losing their benefits as leaders of their individual parties in order to merge to form a bigger party that could dislodge the PDP as a governing party .

“He achieved it because it was the first time an opposition party defeated a ruling party at the centre in Nigeria.

“Dr Ogbonnaya Onu brought peace to this nation and the last thing he said to the country was _where is Justice?’ and so, while Onu joins his creator, Nigeria will continue to grapple with that question,” Oteh said.

Onu, 72 years, hailed from Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi , contested for the presidential ticket of APC during the 2023 general election but lost to President Bola Tinubu.

Onu was a Nigerian politician, teacher, author, engineer and a Prince of Uburu until his death.

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