A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe (71) died at his Ministers’ Estate residence Abuja, yesterday, June 29, 2016.
Maduekwe died after a brief illness in a hospital in Abuja. He was until his death, the PDP BoT Secretary.
He was a National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He worked as the deputy director of PDP presidential campaign 2011 that produced the Goodluck/Sambo presidency.
Here are five never-to-be-forgotten moments of the deceased’s political career.
- Ojo Maduekwe was a mainstay in the 4th Republic. At the return of Democracy in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him Culture and Tourism minister, an office he held for two years before he was moved elsewhere.
- Ojo oni keke: President Obasanjo changed Maduekwe’s portfolio in 2001 during a shakeup. He was appointed Minister of Transport. In this position, he advocated greater use of bicycles, although critics said that the roads were unsafe for cyclists and Maduekwe himself was pushed into a ditch by a bus while he was cycling to work. He became very popular for his cycling antics and he was duly nicknamed ‘Ojo oni keke’ which means Ojo the bicycle man.
- He was also appointed Foreign Minister on July 26, 2007 by President Umaru Yar’Adua. He left office in March 2010 when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved his cabinet.
- He shot to National prominence in 1983 during the short-lived Second Republic when he was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
- His 10th and last government position came in June 2012, when President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada.
- Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng