The governor in a statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, described the late former minister as his personal mentor, confidant and father, stressing that in him, Nigeria and Abia State in particular has lost a great and worthy leader, adding that he was one of the strongest pillars of his administration offering invaluable advice and guidance.
The governor, who recalled his last moments with Chief Maduekwe, said that he was constantly in touch with the late ambassador even up until last weekend when the late Chief Maduekwe phoned in from abroad to apologise to him for missing a meeting he (Governor) held with the Minster for Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelama; Abia State National Assembly Caucus and political leaders from Abia State last Wednesday in Abuja, saying he had to travel outside the country for a brief meeting.
The late Ambassador Maduekwe’s last official outing in Abia State with Governor Ikpeazu was Abia North Senatorial Zone Town Hall Meeting held at his native Ohafia where the late leader gave the vote of thanks and urged political elites in Abia State not to distract him with undue financial requests.
The governor said although Ambassador Maduekwe’s death was a national loss as he loyally served his country in numerous capacities, it is a particularly a heavy loss for Abia State as he was “one of our brightest products who distinguished himself in the various high offices he occupied for the nation.”
The governor pledged the support of the Abia State Government towards giving the late diplomat a befitting burial.
Chief Maduekwe died on Wednesday t the age of 71.