President Muhammadu Buhari has eulogized the First Republic Minister of Aviation, Late Chief Mbazulike Amechi, describing him as a patriot whose character Nigerians should emulate for the peace and growth of the country.
Speaking on Tuesday at a’ Day of Tribute’, organised in honour of Chief Amechi at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja, Buhari narrated how Amechi accommodated late Nelson Mandela in his house in Lagos.
He said at the time, Mandela was declared wanted by the then apartheid regime in South Africa,
Buhari also said that such gesture stands out the late elder statesman as a patriot and lover of humanity.
He added that the late elder statesman intervened in issues concerning the country to ensure that not only the South East but the entire country is at peace.
Represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, President Buhari said Amechi, will be missed as his demise will leave a vacuum in the sands of history in the country.
The President said, “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 that there is unity and peace in every part of the country.”
He also narrated how Amechi, 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 detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be released to him.
Buhari said Chief Amechi had told him 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.”
Among those present at the event were former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, represented by Prof. Ike Obiorah, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt.Hon. Femi Gbajabiamilla, represented by Hon. Hon. Olubukola Oyewo, Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Water Resources, Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, former Senate President Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Elder statesman Tanko Yakasai, former Anambra and Imo State governors, Chief Chukuemeka Ezeife and Achike Udenwa and Sen. Rochas Okorocha respectively.
Also speaking at the gathering, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, (LP) Mr. Peter Obi harped on the need for Nigerians to emulate the patriotic and enterprising nature of the late Chief Amechi.
Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, eulogized the deceased for his love for humanity and nation.