From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja 

President Muhammadu Buhari, Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and other eminent Nigerians, yesterday, paid tributes to first republic minister of aviation, Mbazulike Amechi, who died recently.

President Buhari and others, who spoke at a ‘Day of Tribute’ in honour of the late elder statesman, in Abuja, described him a patriot, whose lifestyle should be emulated by other leaders in the country.

The president, represented by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, recalled that Amaechi, in his life time, always intervened at critical periods, to ensure there is peace in the South East and the country at large. He said the former minister will be missed, noting that his death has created a vacuum in the country.

According to him, “Mbazulike Amechi 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 there is unity and peace in every part of the country.”

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He recalled how Amechi accommodated the late Nelson Mandela, who was declared wanted by the then apartheid regime in South Africa, in his house in Lagos, stating that such gesture stands out the late elder statesman as a patriot and lover of humanity.

Similarly, Obi, while eulogising Amaechi for his love for the country and humanity, stressed the need for Nigerians to emulate the patriotic and enterprising nature of Amechi.

Also, the Chairman of the National Planning Committee for Amaechi’s burial, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, in his speech, said the foremost Igbo leader lived his life for the course of Ndigbo.

Iwuanyanwu recalled that one of the late former minister’s last public outing was when he led leaders of the South East to the Aso Rock Villa to plead with President Buhari for the release of detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. 

He reiterated the appeal for the release of Kanu, noting that “the planned Peace Summit in the South East cannot be complete without the release of Kanu.”