NADECO Chieftain, Rear Admiral Kanu dies at 78

Ogunsakin Mustapha
3 Min Read

A former Governor of Lagos State, and NADECO chieftain, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu (rtd), is dead.

Admiral Kanu reportedly died on Wednesday morning from alleged complications of the raging Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He was in his village during the Christmas and New Year season where he presided over the marriage introduction ceremony of his daughter. Both daughter and husband live abroad.

While in the village, he reportedly had a mild cough. But his condition deteriorated suddenly and had to be evacuated quickly back to Lagos where COVID-19 infection was diagnosed.

He was placed on intensive care with oxygen.

A member of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kalu Ireke Kalu, who worked closely with Admiral Kanu and who contested for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Secretary General, on January 10 in Owerri, Imo State, confirmed the death: “I can tell you he passed this morning. He was 78. We celebrated his last birthday in November 2020. I don’t have much details. I am still in the village.”

Admiral Kanu was the first governor of Old Imo State, immediately after the state was created in March 1976. He was transferred from Imo State to become Governor of Lagos State in 1977, leaving office in July 1978.

Kalu, in 1975, was the only Igbo appointed into the nation’s highest military decision making body, the Supreme Military Council (SMC) before General Olusegun Obasanjo dissolved it when he assumed office in 1976 as the Head of State.

Admiral Kanu fought on the Biafran side during the Nigerian civil war but was reabsorbed into the Nigerian Navy at the end of the war in 1970.

On retirement, he became active in political issues and was a member of the pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which fought for the revalidation of the late Moshood Abiola’s annulled June 12, 1993, presidential mandate.

He was among those, who signed an ultimatum for the General Sani Abacha regime to revalidate Abiola’s mandate and hand over power to him, which brought about one of the most vicious crackdowns by a regime in peacetime Nigeria.

He was the chairman of NADECO’s Action Committee, which organised and participated in protest marches and public sensitisation activities.

Admiral Kanu later became NADECO Chairman in 2013.

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