*Gbagada Housing Estate named after him
*He’ll be sorely missed —Wife, son
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Nelson Alu, LAGOS
NOTABLE Nigerians, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu; former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ubitu Ukiwe (retd); NADECO chieftain, Ayo Opadokun, yesterday, described late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retd) as a great nationalist and an icon of all time.
This came as the widow and son of the deceased, Gladys and Jeffrey Ndubuisi Kanu, respectively, described the deceased as a loving husband, father and friend, who would be sorely missed.
Late Ndubuisi Kanu, a former military governor of Lagos State, died on January 13, 2021 at the age of 78.
They said this at a ‘Day of Tributes’, held in honour of the Kanu, at De Blue Roof, LTV Compound, Ikeja, Lagos, organised by the state government.
He lived a life worthy of emulation — Sanwo-Olu
In his tribute, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the deceased led a remarkable life worthy of emulation.
The governor said: “He lived a life full of emulation, selfless, detribalised Nigerian who knew how to build bridges, a believer in an entity called Nigeria. He lived for simplicity, courage, humility, a pillar of strength. He was a Lagosian par-excellence.
“He was a good listener with a high sense of humour. He devoted family man.
“The late Admiral Kanu, a tested nationalist, lived his life for the good of the people. He loved the people and was always willing to make them happy.
“A dependable and trustworthy comrade, he lived a contented life, devoid of avarice and unbridled pursuit of personal wealth.
“Rear Admiral Kanu was a leading member of NADECO, the pro-democracy group that fought for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, which was believed to have been won by the late Moshood Abiola, who died in a desperate, battle to reclaim his mandate.
“He never joined those who tried to tag the June 12 battle a Yoruba affair. He stood tall among those who led the way to revalidate that election, which was adjudged at home and abroad as Nigeria’s freest and fairest ever.
“He was also among the eminent Nigerians who signed an ultimatum calling on the late maximum ruler, General Sani Abacha, to revalidate late MKO Abiola’s mandate and hand over power to the latter.
“Admiral Kanu was a fearless fighter who dared death so many times.”
Sanwo-Olu also announced that to immortalise the late Kanu, one of the state’s housing estates in Gbagada has been renamed “NDUBUISI KANU Housing Estate,” as a mark of honour and will be commissioned soon.
He was a democrat of note —Tinubu
In his tribute, Tinubu, represented by former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro, described the deceased as a democrat of note and a true leader.
In his tribute tagged: ‘To Justice, Democracy and True Federalism,’ reads: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of former military administrator of Lagos and Imo States. Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu.
“He was my brother and a very courageous partner in the struggle for democracy and enthronement of true federalism in Nigeria.
“In everything he did, from his work as a former administrator of Lagos State to the sacrifices he made to help NADECO during the struggle for the actualization of June 12, Rear Admiral Kanu was highly principled.
“He provided democratic vision and meaningful ideas to advance the historic struggle.
“He was a patriot and a progressive. A rare breed in his consistent and unwavering commitment to social justice, democracy and workable federalism in Nigeria, Admiral Kanu was a Lagosian, true Nigeria nationalist in the very true sense of that phrase.
He was a selfless man —Ukiwe
Also speaking, the former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ukiwe commended Sanwo-Olu for organizing the event.
He said: “This is an honour well deserved for Ndubuisi Kanu. We are proud of him. He was a selfless man. He fought for MKO Abiola’s mandate. We pray Almighty God to save his soul.”
Kanu was a detribalised Nigerian — Opadokun
Opadokun, in his tribute, described the deceased as a disciplined and detribalized Nigerian, who lived a fulfilled life.
He said the legacies of the deceased will outlive him for outstanding achievements.
He was a lover of humanity — Gbassa, FOC Western Naval Command
On his part, the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, said the late Kanu was a lover of humanity.
Gbassa said: “With a heavy heart, we condole with the family. We are here to celebrate the life of a great man. He was an asset to the naval family and the Nation at large.
“He had an unwavering love for Nigeria. He was a lover of humanity, who contributed immensely to the development of the Nigeria Navy. He will surely be missed. We are with the family in this hour of grief.”
Speaking on behalf of Civil Society groups, Mr. Linus Okoroji said: “He was a great man.”
A representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. S.T Adegbite, said: “For us in the church, Ndubuisi Kanu was a man who believed in God and worshipped Him quietly.
“He was always involved in church activities and growth. Kanu built a church in his home town. We pray he continues to rest in peace.”
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