TRIBUTE: Mbaise Nation Mourns Human Right Activist, Innocent Chukwuma

File photograph of the late Chukwuma

By Carl Azudibia

Mbaise People’s Congress (MPC) has been thrown into deep mourning following the death on Saturday April 3, 2021 of our distinguished founding member and past Deputy National President, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma. We are indeed mourning; Mbaise is indeed mourning; the nation is mourning as well as all who came in contact with him.

According to his wife, Mrs. Josephine Chukwuma, Innocent was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on Friday April 2, 2021 and was to begin chemotherapy next day when he eventually died. With his loss, MPC nay Mbaise nation, Nigeria and the entire Civil society the world over have lost a champion of positive optimism in the defence of human rights and emancipation.

Innocent had a very robust and active university life rising through Students Union politics which culminated in his engagement into the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Nigeria’s foremost human rights champion and trailblazer where he rose to become Acting Executive Director. Thereafter, he established Cleen Foundation, another foremost and formidable civil society organisation focusing on police reforms in Nigeria and beyond.

He was appointed Regional Director of Ford Foundation for West Africa 8 years ago, a position he retired from in February 2021 having served meritoriously. He was also on the board of other local and international organisations too numerous to mention. He was a pillar of Mbaise Proples Congress and was paper presenter and lead discussant in several MPC activities including our Annual Mbaise Colloquium and Mbaise Professionals Get Together.

Innocent will solely be missed for his uncommon approach in resolving issues as testified by all who came across him in the course of his duties. He was very intelligent and a highly cerebral person who possessed a beautiful sense of humor. We are missing him! We shall continue to miss him! His burial arrangements shall be announced by his immediate family.

We pray God Almighty to grant eternal repose to his wonderful soul. We deeply condole with his wife Josephine and his beautiful Amazons. MPC will stand with them at all times. Adieu Congressman Innocent.

Azudibia is the National President Of Mbaise Peoples’ Congress

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