Senator Uche Chukwumerije of Abia North Senatorial District is dead.
A family statement issued on Sunday said that the Senator died on Sunday at the Nigerian-Turkish Hospital, Abuja, of a prolonged lung cancer.
It said, inter alia: “On the evening of Sunday, the 19th of April, 2015, surrounded by his family, Comrade Chukwumerije passed unto the open arms of history, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, after a long but gallant battle with long cancer.
“Details of burial arrangements will be announced in due course. We ask only for your prayers and good wishes,” the statement signed by Chidi, his son, said.
Born in 1939, Chukwumerije, a ranking Senator, was elected to the Senate in 2003 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party
(PDP)before defecting to the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) in 2006 and returning to PDP and was re-elected in again in 2011.
The late Senator is a graduate of Economics from the prestigious University of Ibadan.
He was the Minister of Information under the military rule of General Ibrahim Babangida and the short-lived Interim Government of Ernest Shonekan.
Meanwhile, a statement by Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe,said that the Senate had lost a political giant in Chukwumerije, who until his death was its Chairman, Education Committee.
It said:“The Senate will surely miss his erudite contributions on the floor of the Chambers and his painstaking approach to committee work.
“Chukwumerije was indeed an embodiment of legislative tradition and consumate activist-democrat who loved his people passionately.”
Abaribe said that the Chukwumerije’s love for Nigeria and her corporate existence was unprecedented.