The President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of Ambassador Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe as a sad development and an exit of a great Nigerian who was brought up in the best tradition of national unity and genuine African values.
General Muhammadu Buhari in a condolence message made available to the media in Abuja yesterday said that “with the demise of Chukwuma Azikiwe, a gentleman has left a turbulent world. Ambassador Azikiwe was a thorough –bred Nigerian citizen who chose a private life after a distinguished diplomatic career in Nigeria’s Foreign Service. There is no doubt that it was Ambassador Azikiwe’s humane and refined qualities that made it possible for him to step into the big traditional shoes of his great father – Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe as the Owelle of Onitsha.”
The President-elect said with the demise of the Owelle, he had lost a friend who cared for him and often found the time to visit at home in Kaduna.
While condoling with the Azikiwe Family, General Muhammadu Buhari urged the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nna’meka Ugochukwu Achebe and the entire people of Onitsha Royal Kingdom to take heart and bear the loss with fortitude.
In the same vein, former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock at his death.
Atiku said in a press statement issued by his media office in Abuja on Tuesday, 12 May that “Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe epitomised the very best of the late Zik’s zeal and passion for a united Nigeria: he gave him a Yoruba name despite being of Igbo bacground and supported his pursuit of a career in Nigeria’s Foreign Service.”
The Turaki Adamawa noted that Ambassador Azikiwe belonged to the vanishing tribe of Nigeria’s core diplomats who steered the ship of Nigeria’s foreign policy during the difficult times of Nigeria as a frontline state struggling for the decolonisation of the African continent.
The former Vice President condoled with the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nna’meka Achebe and the entire Onitsha people on the sad exit of the Owelle and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.