Former transport minister, Ojo Maduekwe, dies at 71

Secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ojo Maduekwe, has died at the age of 71.

He passed on at his Abuja residence on Wednesday evening.

Maduekwe served variously as Minister of Culture and Tourism and Minister of Transport in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration and also Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Umaru Yar’Adua administration.

He also served as National Secretary of the PDP.

“He fell ill while on air from Dubai and he was rushed to the hospital as soon as the plane landed in Abuja, but he died before doctors could do much,” a source close to the deceased told Premium Times.

Speaking to journalists from Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the PDP BoT, Walid Jibrin, said Maduekwe died at a time his services were most needed.

“He passed on at a critical time when we needed him most. I was waiting for him to come back from U.S. where he travelled to so that we can find a way of addressing the problems in the party,” he said.

“He was a good man and an intelligent person, who can always find a way out of situations. The party will mourn him. We have lost a great man. I would have loved to come back immediately, but we have started the process already, but I will devote my time here in Saudi Arabia to pray for his family,” he said.