Former lawmaker, Senator Clement Annie Okonkwo who represented Anambra Central Senatorial District in the sixth National Assembly, is dead.
According to the report gathered by Hotmedia.ng, Okonkwo died on Wednesday at the age of 63 after almost recovering from a brief illness.
The development is coming a few days to the inauguration ceremony of his son, Uchenna Harris Okonkwo, who is the House of Representatives member-elect for Idemili North and South Federal Constituency of the state.
The deceased who was elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, represented the District in the Sixth National Assembly from 2007-2011.
His family is yet to release an official statement on his demise.
A source told Hotmedia.ng that “he was recovering after taking proper treatment in the United States of America but relapsed a few days ago and died yesterday.”
He was said to have suffered cancer of the lungs but recovered. In April, it relapsed and he had been on life support until he passed on.
A message from the family announcing the death read, “The entire Okonkwo family of Iruebenebe village Ojoto, announces the passing on to glory of High Chief Annie Okonkwo. Indeed, Ojoto has lost her political pillar.”
He was succeeded at the Senate by the immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
Okonkwo, the Agunaechemba I of Ojoto, was an entrepreneur who built a conglomerate with business interests in oil and gas, Telecommunications, Commodity Trading, Real Estate Development, Manufacturing and General Commerce. The firms include Reliance Telecoms, Clemco Industries, Modern Communications (satellite TV Network), MacClemm Marketing Communications, Sunflower Nigeria and Pentagon Oil.
Born 23 May 1960, Chief Okonkwo obtained Advanced Diploma in Marketing and Advanced Diploma in Commercial Law and Practice all from the University of Lagos). He is also an Alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where he also got an Advanced Diploma in Management.
While in the Senate, Okonkwo was appointed to committees on Upstream Petroleum Resources, Police Affairs, Environment (where he served as vice-chairman) and Agriculture.
He contested for governor of Anambra in the February 2010 elections for Anambra, but lost to the incumbent, Peter Obi, who was reelected.
He was a recipient of many local and international awards including Dr Kwame Nkrumah Award for Excellence in Enterprise (WAIM), National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM), EMRC Euro Market Brussels Leadership Award in Recognition of exemplary leadership by Leadership Watch.
Others include International Business Leadership Award by News Agency of Nigeria and Eminent Persons Hall of Fame Awards by Nigeria Newsworld Fame Achievers Award.
While in the Senate, Okonkwo was appointed to committees on Upstream Petroleum Resources, Police Affairs, Environment and Agriculture.
He was last seen in public, when his son, Uche Okonkwo, who won a seat in the House of Representatives, paid him a visit to present him his certificate of return.
“Further details and arrangements would be made known to the public after deliberations and meetings are held within the family”.