88-year-old Ogoni lawyer dies 10 months after marrying younger wife

Ogoni layer Cyrus Nunieh marries youg lover

A lawyer and Second Republic federal lawmaker, Senator Cyrus Nunieh, has died at the age of 88.

Nunieh, who was also an Ogoni leader, died in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Monday.

The deceased made headlines in October 2017 when he officially married a woman in her early 40s and attributed his action to his need for a companion after losing his former wife in 1991.

“I cannot continue to stay alone. I love her and she loves me. We understand each other and she is also intelligent.”

“There is no limitation in age. Some may say you are old; you may soon die. But some were dead even before they were born. Some were one year or two years old and they die. Death is not always dependent upon a man’s age,” he said in an interview with PUNCH shortly after the much-publicised wedding.

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed shock over Nunieh’s death.

MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara, in a statement issued on Wednesday, sympathised with the wife, children of the elder statesman over what it described as a grave loss.

Pyagbara noted that Nunieh would be remembered for his contributions towards the Ogoni struggle for self-determination.

“Our sympathies go to his wife, the children and the entire family for the very sad loss to the family and to the Ogoni people at this moment of our history,” the statement reads.

It added that Nunieh championed the Ogoni cause for self-determination well before such issues became a mantra in the Niger Delta.

“He led the Ogoni State creation struggle during the devastating period of the Ogoni crisis, which later metamorphosed into the Bori State Movement struggle.

“Until his passing away, he remained an avid supporter of the Ogoni cause and the cause for justice. We hope that his family appreciates that there are thousands of Ogoni people thinking of them at this time.

“We shall remain indebted to him as his works have left an indelible mark in the Ogoni community and in this country at large. It was his interest in indigenous peoples and minority groups that made him align with MOSOP and his contribution over the years to improving the cause of justice for the downtrodden and the judicial process has been invaluable,” the statement concluded.

Also, the Ogoni youths under the auspices of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) expressed their condolences to the family of the deceased, describing him as its patron.

A statement signed by the Secretary-General of OYF, Kingsley Lekue, reads in part, “We express our sympathy to the bereaved family, Ogoni ethnic nationality and Rivers State.

“We pray that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the departed eternal repose and comfort those in pain.”