Former Minister of Aviation and the last member of the group that fought for Nigeria’s independence, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi has been described as a patriot who was more interested in building a united country than self-aggrandizement.

President Muhammadu Buhari during his National Day of Tribute address on Tuesday at Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja said that Mbazulike, even when he was already aged, continued to intervene whenever the country was at cross road to ensure that not only the South East but the entire country is at peace.

Buhari who was represented by Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige said that Mbazulike popularly called “The Boy is Good” will be missed and that his demise will leave a vacuum in the sands of history.

According to Mr. President, “Mbazulike is an epitome of what every Nigerian leader should be aspiring to be. He was a man of peace and did everything possible to ensure that there is unity and peace in every part of the country”.

He went further to narrate how Mbazulike before his demise, paid him a courtesy call at the presidential villa in the company of some notable elders from the South East and requested that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be released to him.

Buhari quoted Mbazulike as saying that “The unconditional release of Kanu will not only bring peace to the South East; it will rebuild the trust of the people on your administration.”

He further went  to recount how Mbazulike accommodated late Nelson Mandela, who was declared wanted by the apartheid regime, in his house in Lagos. He said that such gesture stands out the late elder statesman as a patriot and lover of humanity.

He said that the history of Anambra State cannot be complete without him because he was a galvanizing force that ensured that the state is one of the largest states in Nigeria in terms of human capital development.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Occasion and former Chairman of Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke described Amaechi as a “true Nigerian”. He said that the president has tremendous respect for him because he saw him as a true Nigerian.

He said that Amaechi was the youngest Minister of Aviation in the history of Nigeria and discharged his duties will all sense of diligence and patriotism, until January 15, 1966 when the administration was sacked by a coup.

Present at the event were Speaker of the House of Representative, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar represented by Prof. Ike Obiorah, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamilla who was represented by Hon. Hon. Olubukola Oyewo, Dep. Chairman, Water Resources, Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, former Senate President Sen. Pius Anyuim, former Anambra and Imo State governors Chief Chukuemeka Ezeife and Achike Udenwa and Sen. Rochas Okorocha, former Minister of Women Affairs Iyom Josephine Anenih, Sen. Ben Obi and many notable Nigerians. Minister of Women Affairs Iyom Josephine Anenih, Sen. Ben Obi and many notable Nigerians.

Others included; Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai as well as two former Ministers of Health, Prof ABC Nwosu and Prof Tim Menakaya.

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