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More Nigerians pay tributes to late Admiral Kanu in Lagos

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The rank of Nigeria’s celebrated democrats, advocates for true federalism and non-tribalists was reduced on January 13 with the demise of Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retd).

The chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) died after a month of battling with an undisclosed ailment until he was tested positive for COVID-19.

The late Kanu married thrice and had 10 children before his demise. His wife Christine Kanu, who was First Lady when he was the military administrator of Lagos State, gave birth to seven children who are Simone, Audrey, Kelly, Paula, Karen, Jeffrey and Vanessa while his other wife, Josephine Kanu, gave birth to Laura and Stephen. At the time of his death, he was married to Gladys Kanu, who gave birth to Samantha.

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While the Lagos State governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, on the condolence register at Kanu’s 22B Brown Gate, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, wished Kanu a peaceful rest, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye described him as a dedicated patriot in whose house they used to meet to press for the restoration of democracy.

His long-time friend, Dr. Fred Agbeyegbe, stated: “For some 50 years now, we did everything together. Why did you have to do this alone? You cheated; it is wicked to have me behind. Adieu, my twin brother. Rest in peace.”

Dr. Godswill Ihetu, on his part, stated: “We Ndigbo have lost an icon. Personally, I have lost a good friend and brother.”

Dr. Bala Yesufu described Kanu’s demise as “shocking, devastating,” adding: “This is unbelievable, yet true.”

Mrs Tessy Irabo described the deceased as a soft-spoken man.

Jonathan Bamidele Osin, a member of the Methodist Church, stated: “You were a real soldier of Christ, a man of courage, faith and a bold man.”

To Ndubuisi Ofondu, “he was a good man; the strongest man I have ever met. A man with the heart of gold.”

While speaking about her late husband, Gladys said: “Democracy might not have been brought back to Nigeria at that time without his input. Members of NADECO came to this house in 1994, where they had meetings, and eventually, democracy was restored in Nigeria. So, he was a de-tribalised Nigerian. Since he passed on, I have received messages from the president, past presidents, governors and different parts of Nigeria, consoling the family.

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“In the Navy where he served at a very young age, he went to War College and National Defence Academy in India and he was described as one of the most intelligent. He was made the chairman of several committees set up in the military during his time in service, and at the age of 30, he was a member of the Supreme Military Council.”

She added: “He was a plumber and repaired almost all the appliances. He cleaned his room, ironed his shirts, and found it easy doing many things by himself.”

Speaking with The Guardian, Chancellor and founder, Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, Prof. Ikechuku Gregory Ibe, said: “Rear Admiral was the BOT Chairman of my university. He invited me on December 30, 2020, that I should give him the rollout plan for February for what the university had to do so that he would know where to fit in. After seeing him, he left for Lagos, although he complained he was sick. It pains me the more because nobody knows him as much as I do because I talked to him directly and we talked about the future and what can be done for Nigerian youths and Abia State.

“I am going to miss his guidance, his kind disposition. He would always tell you things from a different angle and he has been wonderful in his advice.”

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