The remains of Ojo Maduekwe, a former minister of foreign affairs, were buried at his hometown in Asaga, Ohafia local government area of Abia on Saturday.

Maduekwe, who was also minister of culture and tourism as well as minister of transport, died at the age of 71 and was buried after a service by the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.

Some of his friends and associates described him as a man of ideas and one who was greatly interested in nation-building.

Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state, said that the people of Abia are proud of the deceased because he lived a life worthy of emulation.

Ikpeazu said the responsibility of living according to the values Maduekwe represented in life rests “on our shoulders”, adding that Nigeria had lost a great patriot.

He described Maduekwe as a wonderful family man, worthy ambassador, warrior of Asaga community and hero to the people of Abia.

He said that although a lot had been said about the status and personality of the deceased, the occasion ought to remind everyone about the transient nature of human life.

In his tribute, Ita Enang, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on national assembly matters, lauded Maduekwe for his numerous contributions to the country’s development.

Enang said that the deceased was intelligent, dutiful and hardworking and would be dearly missed for his commitment, especially as he still had a lot to contribute to the country.

Also, Godswill Akpabio, majority leader of the senate, said that it was gratifying to note that Maduekwe lived a life of service to God and his nation.

Akpabio commiserated with members of the family and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Earlier in his sermon, Mba Uka, prelate of Presbyterian Church, admonished the family to stay united and uphold the legacies of their patriarch.

He said that the deceased had served his purpose on earth and urged Nigerians to engage in honest labour in service to God and humanity.

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