by Musa Abdullahi
Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche is dead. He died of cancer on Sunday, aged 75.
According to a statement by the family representative, Chidi, the Senator died on Sunday after a long but gallant battle with lung cancer.
“On the evening of Sunday, the 19th of April, 2015, surrounded by his family, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije passed into the open arms of history, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, after a long but gallant battle with lung cancer,” the statement said.
“His life is many volumes, which can only be told with care and time, of dedication and focus, integrity and discipline, and an unbroken love for the highest ideals of our shared humanity.
“Details of burial arrangements will be announced in due course. We ask only for your prayers and good wishes.”
Chukwumerije was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in April 2003, representing Abia North Senatorial District.
Chukwumerije served as minister of information in the dying days of the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida. Chukwumerije also served as minister of information in the interim national government of Ernest Shonekan.
In the Fourth Republic, Chukwumerije was elected to the Senate on the Peoples Democratic Party’s platform, but he fell out of favor with the party’s leadership when he opposed the Third Term Agenda. Chukwumerije eventually decamped to the Progressive Peoples Alliance in 2006, and was reelected to the Senate on April 28, 2007. Chukwumerije is divorced with seven children.Chukwumerije studied economics at the University of Ibadan.
Chukwumerije was reelected on the PDP platform in the April 2011 elections.
His son Chika won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in Taekwondo. His father funded his training as well as some of the tournaments he has participated in.
His other son, Dikeogu Egwuatu Chukwumerije, is a writer and a performance poet. He also hosts the Abuja Literary Society (ALS)’s Night of Spoken Words. He has written books like The African American, One Nigeria: The Birth and Evolution of an Idea, The Revolution Has No Tribe: Contemporary Poetry on African History, Culture and Society Co-written with Azuka Juachi Okonji, Strategic Love: Simple Rules That Make Love Work and many others. He also did a tribute to the legendary Chinua Achebe titles ‘Nna Anyi, Is It True?’ after his demise.