The late aviation minister Chief Mbazulike Amechi, aka, The Boy is Good, was ‘a quintessential Igbo Titan, icon and trail-blazer’, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said on Wednesday in a tribute to the deceased.
The president general of Ohanaeze, Prof George Obiozor, in the tribute, regretted Amechi’s demise, adding however that, “The life of Amaechi is a veritable lesson in uprightness, selflessness and heroism.”
Ohanaeze, in the tribute signed by its national publicity secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, recalled how Chief Amechi fought for Nigeria’s independence in conjunction with other nationalists.
Dr Ogbonnia stated that, “On several occasions, he was arrested and detained by the colonial authorities and in more than two occasions he preferred imprisonment instesd of bowing to the oppressors.
“What really added to the Amaechi mystique was that the more the incarceration, the more popular he became. It is a tribute to a rare courage, uncompromising principle, sacrifice, stoic heroism, patriotic dispositions and extra-ordinary faith in the struggle for Nigerian independence that earned Amaechi the Member of the Parliament at a very young age of 29, parliamentary Secretary and subsequently the Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the First Republic.”
Ohanaeze expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of President Muhammad Buhari to honour the late Amechi’s personal request to him to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Ogbonnia wrote, “It is regrettable that the last wish Chief Amaechi presented to President Muhammadu Buhari was rebuffed. Amaechi made his way to Aso Rock and pleaded that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu be released to him on trust.
“Secondly, Amaechi, on hearing that Buhari was to visit Ebonyi State, earlier this year, in spite of his old age, reactivated his combative paws and reflexes to meet Mr President.
“At Abakaliki, Chief Amaechi in an uncommon oratorical skill, spoke pointedly but passionately to President Buhari on why Nnamdi Kanu should be released to him. Amaechi’s voice waxed eloquent to the universal advocacy that it is the turn of the South East to produce a president in Nigeria.”
The release recalled how South Africa’s late president, Nelson Mandela, took refuge at Amechi’s house during the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Ogbonnia wrote, “In 1963, when the obnoxious apartheid regime in South Africa was at its peak, in connivance with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the freedom fighter, Dr Nelson Mandela, escaped South Africa and the home of Chief Amaechi, in Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State, was considered the most suitable. Perhaps because both of them shared common experiences in colonial pathologies.
“Mandela stayed in Ukpor for about six months. It was on departure from Lagos in 1963 that the apartheid regime traced him and arrested him on arrival at Johannesburg.
“Today, Mandela, Azikiwe, Osita Agwuna, Nduka Eze, Mokwugo Okoye, Raji Abdallah, Ikenna Nzimiro, Anthony Enahoro, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Aminu Kano, Amaechi, etc. have joined the Saints Triumphant and have gained freedom from the Nigerian provenance, full of corruption, injustice, inexplicable oddities and vicious circles.”
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