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Abdulaziz Ude, elder statesman and ex-Newswatch chairman, is dead

Abdulaziz Ude, elder statesman and ex-Newswatch chairman, is dead
September 18
18:44 2021

Abdulaziz Chibuzor Ude, an elder statesman and former acting chairman of the board of directors of Newswatch, is dead.

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The Anambra state government announced the passing of the culture enthusiast in a statement issued on Saturday.

Don Adinuba, the state commissioner for information and public enlightenment, said Ude died on Thursday in Lagos state.

According to the Anambra government, he has been buried in his hometown in line with Islamic rites.

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In a tribute to the deceased, the Anambra government described the late Ude as an egalitarian who never discriminated against the less privileged or those who did not share his religious views.

“The people and Government of Anambra State have received with sadness the news of the death two days ago of Chief Abdulaziz Chivuzor Ude, the internationally renowned publisher, intellectual, art lover, pan Africanist, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Abor, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State who played a significant part in modern Igbo history,” the statement reads.

“Christened Bertrand at an early age and became the first senior prefect of the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu, Ude attended Oxford University where he read philosophy, economics and politics before proceeding to Columbia University in New York where he took a master’s degree in international relations.

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“Ude caught public attention while working as an editor at Random House in New York, the world’s biggest book publishing firm, he published Chinua Achebe’s classic, Things Fall Apart, in the United States during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70.

“Unknown to most people because of his self-effacing nature, Chief Ude contributed significantly to the creation of Anambra, Enugu, Delta and Ebonyi states.

“Apart from being one of the signatories to the petition for the creation of these states to the Ibrahim Babangida military regime, he donated not just cash but also his private jet to transport the Igbo patriots like Dr Alex Ekwueme, Chike Edozie, Dr Akanu Ibiam, Chief CC Onoh and Dr Okadigbo to different cities who signed the petition.

“He also donated part of his building at 59 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, to coordinate the campaign for the creation of Igbo states and paid the staff.

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“Ude’s Nok book publishing firm in Enugu, New York, London and Lagos, published such outstanding works as Chinweizu’s The West and the Rest of Us and Romanus Egudu’s Study of Four West Africans. He was, indeed, a pan Africanist of the finest hue.

“Ever humble, he practised egalitarianism in truth and spirit. He never discriminated against the less privileged or those who did not share his religious views. Even after converting to Islam, a result of his deep friendship with founding Guinean President Sekou Toure, a pan Africanist in his own right, Ude remained a big contributor to the welfare of priests and the church in his community.

“The Government and people of Anambra State truly mourn the transition of this great Igboman, pan Africanist, publisher and intellectual. We mourn with the Ude family of Abor and the people and government of Enugu State. May Abdulaziz Ude’s noble soul find rest in paradise.”

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