Project Nigeria Movement, Pro-National Conference Organization, and Third Force Movement of Nigeria, on Sunday said the death of a former Vice Chairman of National Democratic Coalition, Dr Arthur Nwankwo, is sad and a rude shock.
Mr. Olawale Okunniyi in a statement on Sunday for the groups, said the Nigerian Democratic Movement has lost one of its surviving icons and veterans of its struggle against military rule and for the restoration of the current fledgling Democracy of Nigeria.
He described Nwankwo, who was the Chancellor of the Eastern Mandate Union, as a revolutionary political economist, an activist, a prolific author and resourceful publisher during his life time, and as one who crusaded against social injustice of all sorts in Nigeria.
He said Nwankwo, was a pan Nigerianist, who, according to him, was one of the initiators and leaders of the Nigerian Third Force Movement in his last days on earth surface.
He stated that the late activist who was also the founder of the Forth Dimension Printing Press made valuable contributions towards Nigeria’s political stability and progress with his numerous intellectual and advocacy works such as; The Making of a Nation: Biafra -1969, Nigeria: The Stolen Billions – 1999, Nigeria: The Challenge of Biafra- 1972, Nigeria: The Political Transition and the Future of Democracy- 1993,The Igbo nation and the Nigerian state- 1999, The Igbo leadership and the future of Nigeria- 1985, among others.
He said, “The founder and chancellor of EMU, a platform, which advanced the rights of the people of the former Eastern Region has all along being a source of inspiration to the democratic forces, which he substantially served under NADECO led by Chief Anthony Enahoro of blessed memory, whom he assisted as Vice Chairman through-out the struggle for the restoration of Nigeria’s current democracy.
“Earlier in his political sojourn; in the second republic, Nwankwo had teamed up with late Mallam Aminu Kano as active member of the Peoples Redemption Party, a mass based progressive Party on which he contested for the governorship of the old Anambra State.
He recalled that Nwankwo was arrested and detained with five other NADECO cadres by the former Head of State, Late Gen Sanni Abacha, who, he said eventually died on the day he was to meet and pronounce judgement on Nwankwo and others in Abuja.
According to him, Nwankwo however became a strong advocate for handshake across the Niger aimed at bringing the South West and the East together politically for the purpose of achieving the democratic constitutional restructuring of Nigeria towards economic prosperity and peace Nigerians.
Okunniyi said democratic forces in Nigeria were already consulting on how best to celebrate and immortalize the resourceful life and struggles of Nwankwo.
He stated that the activist died at a time the Nigerian Democratic Movement was planning to initiate a major Pan Nigerian national political summit to intervene in the current insecurity and instability in Nigeria.