A former presidential candidate and Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has lost her mother, Mrs. Cecilia Nwayiaka Ujubuonu.
An official press statement, made available to journalists on Monday by Ezekwesili’s Spokesperson and Publicist, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, said that Mrs. Ujubuonu died in the late hours of Sunday, June 21, 2020. She was aged 78.
A native of Ndodolu Village, Umunuko, Ukpor, in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, she was widowed after the death of her husband, Benjamin Ujubuonu, in 1988.
Born on April 18, 1942, Ujubuonu, a retired businesswoman, devoted her life to her children, grandchildren, the church and service to humanity.
She died in the arms and home of her daughter, Ezekwesili, in Abuja on Sunday night from cancer.
Until her death, she was a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Former Presidential candidate in the 2019 General Elections, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has urged the leadership of the National Assembly to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address the lawmakers and the Nigerian public on his administration’s strategies and account of efforts at containing the Coronavirus pandemic and the global economic shock.
In a press statement made available to journalists, on Friday, through her Spokesperson and Publicist, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, she stated that “at a time Nigeria is at war against a rapidly escalating pandemic of Coronavirus and an increasingly distressed, deteriorating and declining economy, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Buhari, is missing in action.”
While posing questions about President Buhari’s whereabouts, Ezekwesili, who is also a Co-convener of Bring Back Our Girls, declared, “Fellow Citizens, it is grossly irresponsible of Nigeria resident, General Muhammadu Buhari, to hide away from addressing and assuring his citizens at a time like this when leaders of other nations are doing much more.”
The former Education minister maintained that “it is grossly incompetent of the President that he moves around ‘Majoring in the Minors of declaring events open’, while his citizens are panicked about the fast accelerating health and economic crises.”
She added, “As a citizen of this country, I demand that the National Assembly, the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives, must in the exercise of their oversight role, immediately invite President Buhari to render account and plans of his stewardship on the pandemic and economic wars the country is thrown into. Do this NOW.”
Ezekwesili said the National Assembly must act swiftly to wake up the Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria to provide the Constitutional leadership he swore to provide, especially when the country faces any kind of war.
She said, “NASS must quickly avert any repeat of President Buhari’s lax counter-terrorism war that has cost the country too many lives. A contagion from deadly #CoronaVirus must be avoided immediately. NOW! Nigeria simply cannot afford the implications of an exponential increase in the number of citizens infected by #CoronaVirus. It is insensitive of the President to be mute at a time like this.
“That @followlasg published that it is already contact-tracing 1,300 Nigerians in one way or the other linked to confirm cases of the disease should worry us.
“Let President Buhari come out of his self-isolation and lead his country and people to win these wars. The economic impact of the health crisis will be severe on our majority’s extremely poor of more than 93 million. President Buhari must be reminded that leadership is not about personal comfort.”
Ezekwesili, who is a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, noted that Nigeria needed nothing less than “ evident effective leadership now.”
The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Finance and Appropriation to investigate allegations and counter allegations by the former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili and the federal government.
In a motion presented by Mr. Umar Bature, the lawmakers decided to wade into the on-going war of words between the federal government and Dr Ezekwesili over allegations that the administration of the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan squandered $45 billion foreign reserve.
She had alleged that the squandering of $45 billion in the foreign reserve and another $22 billion in the excess crude account from increased earnings from crude oil, which the Obasanjo administration handed over to the successor administration has worsened poverty in the country.
Mr. Bature asked the House to conduct an investigation into the matter, noting that Dr Ezekwesili as a Special Adviser to a former President was in the position to know the status of the country’s foreign reserve during that period.
The Federal Government has dissociated itself from the conviction of Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) by a South African court following threats by the group to resume hostilities.
The government insisted that this is not the time to threaten Nigeria but to stand up in unity for it.
MEND had allegedly threatened to renew attacks and evolve fresh dimensions to it following the conviction of its leader in South Africa.
In a statement dated January 23, 2013 and signed by one Comrade Azizi, MEND insisted that the conviction of Mr Okah by the South African Court on all 13-count charge of involvement in the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja which killed many people amounted to a betrayal.
It said Nigerians would feel its impact when it eventually commences attacks which it disclosed will not be restricted to the Niger Delta region. Reacting to this threat, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku insisted that Mr Okah was tried in South Africa under due process of the law of the country.
He said it was very shocking that any Nigerian or group would take up arms against Nigeria on account of that conviction.
The minister said on the contrary, expectation was that all citizens should show higher level of patriotism. He argued that, “We should not live in a nation where we should abandon the law.”
Mr Maku noted that citizens should understand that the country offers the best opportunity to live in and urged for support for the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.