Mr Amaechi Mbazulike recently led a delegation of prominent Igbo leaders to President Muhammadu Buhari to request the release of Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra.
A former aviation minister in Nigeria, Mbazulike Amaechi, is dead, the family has announced.
The late Amaechi was a minister in the First Republic.
A statement issued Tuesday by his eldest son, Ezeana Amaechi, on behalf of the family, said the elder statesman died in the early hours of the day.
“With total deference to the will of the Almighty God, the Ume Amaechi, Ezeana Ihidede families and Umu Mmara kindred of Amihe Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State announce the peaceful transition of our illustrious son, father and grandfather, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi,” the statement read in part.
“We thank God for the fulfilled life that he lived, the lives he touched and service to God and country,” the family added.
He was 93 years old.
His death occurs about one year after he lost his wife, Chinelo Amaechi.
Chinelo died at the age of 91 years.
Mr Amaechi, a nationalist, was among those who fought for the independence of Nigeria from Great Britain.
As a secondary school student, Mr Amaechi had joined a group led by Nnamdi Azikiwe, called the Zikist Movement, to push for the country’s independence.
He was said to have taken an oath alongside other nationalists never to marry until Nigeria got her independence.
He was a trade unionist and general secretary of the armels transport union as well as assistant secretary of Benin and Warri Districts of the Zikist Movement.
The elder statesman, on 18 November 1949, had organised a protest rally of all workers in Benin and its environs and demanded adequate punishment for the alleged murderers of 18 workers of the Nigerian Coal Corporation in Enugu State who were reportedly participating in strike action to press home their demands for seniority pay for the workers.
Mr Amaechi was elected member of the House of Representatives, in 1959, on the platform of the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizens. He was later appointed minister of aviation and transport in 1962.
He remained the minister until the country’s first military coup on 15 January 1966.
As a minister, Mr Amaechi reportedly hid the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, for six months in Nigeria to prevent his arrest by officials of the apartheid regime in that country.
Mr Amaechi recently led a delegation of prominent Igbo leaders to President Muhammadu Buhari to request the release of Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra.