…Buhari, Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu, Uzodimma, Ohanaeze mourn
Former military administrator of Lagos State and chieftain of the pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, is dead. Kanu was also military administrator of Imo State in 1975. He died yesterday morning at 77.
He was a member of NADECO, which fought for the revalidation of the late Moshood Abiola’s annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election. He was among those who signed an ultimatum for the General Sani Abacha regime to revalidate Abiola’s mandate and hand over power to him. Kanu was the Chairman of NADECO’s Action Committee, which organised and participated in protests and public sensitisation activities.
In 1975, Kanu was the only Igbo who was appointed into the Supreme Military Council (SMC), before General Olusegun Obasanjo dissolved it when he assumed office in 1976 as the Head of State.
He fought on the Biafran side during the Civil War but was reabsorbed into the Nigerian military at the end of the war in 1970. Kanu, as a retired warriorat- sea who occupied many command and political offices as part of his military postings, quickly “civilianised” himself when he retired from service.
He was one of the former governors close to the Lagos State House and in demonstration of his commitments to the development of Lagos and progressive government, former Governor Babatunde Fashola named a popular recreation park at the Alausa seat of power after him. Reacting to his death, President Muhammadu Buhari said Kanu’s credentials would continue to inspire younger generations on patriotism. In a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the President commiserated with Kanu’s family and prayed for God’s covering over all his loved ones.
On his part, former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described Kanu as a rare breed for his consistency and unwavering commitment to social justice, democracy and federalism in Nigeria.
He said: “I’m deeply saddened by the passing of former military administrator of Lagos and Imo states, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu. “He was my brother and a very courageous partner in the struggle for democracy and enthronement of true federalism in Nigeria.” Also, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State expressed sadness over Kanu’s death. Sanwo-Olu described Kanu as a complete gentleman and officer. According to him, the former military administrator contributed immensely to the development of Lagos State during his short tenure of office.
T he governor praised Kanu’s contributions to the country’s democracy, especially his fight, alongside the progressive elements in the country during the dark days of the military junta, for the enthronement of constitutional democracy in Nigeria. He said: “On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and comrades of late Ndubuisi Kanu as well as the Nigerian Navy, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the country in general.” Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State also bemoaned Kanu’s sudden death.
Uzodimma said Kanu was one of Nigeria’s finest and brightest who devoted his energy for the good of the country. He said: “Kanu got to the pinnacle of his profession by dint of hard work and remained committed to the discipline in the Armed Forces till his death.” Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday expressed condolence over Kanu’s death. In a statement made available to journalists in Enugu yesterday, the newly elected National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, described Kanu’s death as a catastrophe to the Igbo nation. He said: “Kanu was jovial, personable but firm and courageous in his convictions. Throughout his career history, Kanu remained undaunted and exemplary.”