Former Military President,General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida,IBB has described the death of former Minister of Finance, Chu Okongwu, as sad and painful.
In a condolence message he signed, IBB described Okongwu as strict professional, a brilliant man and a reservoir of knowledge.
Newsdiaryonline reports that late Okongwu served in IBB’s government as Minister of National Planning and also Minister of Finance.
Reflecting on Okongwu’s death, IBB said: “At 87, Chu, was still in his usual elements until the sad news of his death struck me early this morning. It is painful for me that death has snatched away one of the brightest economists we have in Nigeria. A very exposed leader of men, whose love for Nigeria knows no bounds, Chu will be sorely missed.”
Earlier in the condolence note, the former military president wrote: :No matter how old, when dear ones depart from us, we feel a deep sense of loss and pain. The nostalgic feelings invoke in us grief and some sort of emotional torture. Death, the ultimate end of man has its hurtful claws clutching at humanity, each time it strikes. The death of Chu Okongwu, even at age 87, leaves me with a painful pang. Chu, was one Nigerian, who was devoted and committed to nation building, using his expertise and rich knowledge to create templates for national development. When our paths crossed, his intellect and humane disposition to discourse, swayed my attention. He was incisive and analytical in his deliberations. He was profound in his elocution and didactic in his delivery.
“Nigeria has lost another brilliant and intellectually fecund professional, with an amazing understanding of the world around us. A super economist, Harvard trained, and also a lecturer with a deep knowledge of economics, Chu Okongwu was an exceptional brain that helped to shape the direction of our government.
“As a Minister of National Planning, he helped to create policy implementation strategies that facilitated our achievements in government. He later became Minister of Finance for four years and was able to lead us on the path of financial discipline and accountability. Chu Okongwu was a very strict professional and public servant. He was meticulous, and had eyes for little details. He enjoyed intellectual engagement and had specific interest in interrogating figures. He was one of our reservoirs of knowledge on economic and financial issues.
“May God in His infinite mercy grant him eternal rest. May He grant the family the grace and piety to bear this irreplaceable death. Chu was a great man, and he died like all great men do. Rest in peace, Sunday Chu Okongwu.”