…A family source said Annie Okonkwo died in the United States
Former senator representing Anambra Central, Clement Annie Okonkwo is dead. He died at age of 63.
A family source said he died in the United States, where he had been receiving treatment.
The source said the popular Senator and businessman suffered cancer of the lungs and almost died, but recovered. It added that he relapsed sometime in April and had been in life support until he passed on.
A message from the family announcing the death says: “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.”
Senator Annie Okonkwo, a native of Iruebenebe village, Ojoto in Idemili South Local Government Area, represented Anambra Central Senatorial District from 2007 to 2011 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was succeeded by Dr Chris Ngige, former governor of the state and immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment.
Annie 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, 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, Annie 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 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.
His son, Hon. Uche Okonkwo won the Idemili North/South Federal Constituency in the 25 February general election on the platform of Labour Party.
Okonkwo was last seen in public glare, when his son, Uche Okonkwo, paid him a visit to present to him his certificate of return.
A statement shared on social media by Dr Uche Nworah, who claimed to be close to the family, and a beneficiary of Okonkwo’s kindness is published below.
Okosisi Adaa! Asọ kwa!
I just woke up to the sad news of Agunaechemba’s passing (Senator Annie Okonkwo). Agu was a kind man and benefactor to many. A colossus in community affairs and Nigerian politics.
He was a pioneer businessman that inspired many Igbo people in the 80s, 90s and in later years with his positive exploits at Clemco Industries, RelTel Wireless and other chains of businesses.
I am a beneficiary of his kindness and the kindness of the Okonkwos. He has finished his race on earth and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with the entire Okonkwo family at this time.
May his soul rest in peace, Amen.
Chief Uche Nworah, Ph.D
Ezeudo Enugwu-Ukwu na Umunri