A former military administrator of Lagos State, Ndubuisi Kanu, has passed away.
Mr Kanu, a retired rear admiral of the Nigerian Navy, who reportedly died on Wednesday after a brief illness, at age of 77.
Rear Admiral (retired) Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu was born in Abia State on 3 November 1943. Joining the navy, he went to India for cadet training. His naval career included positions in Personnel, Logistics and Training. He obtained honorary Doctorate Degrees from the Imo State University and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
Appointed military governor of Imo State, Nigeria in March 1976 during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
He was the first governor after the decree that established the state from part of the old East Central State. He was transferred to become governor of Lagos State in 1977, leaving office in July 1978.
In July 1975, as a lieutenant commander he was appointed a member of Murtala Muhammed’s ruling Cabinet, the Supreme Military Council. Appointed governor of Imo State in March 1976, he brought in town planners to prepare a plan for Owerri. He later became Rear Admiral and Naval chief.
After he retired he joined the pro-democracy movement and played a leading role in the agitation for the actualization of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He founded and was Chairman of RANGK LTD, a maritime consultancy, was Chairman of the Ohaneze Transition Caretaker Committee (OTC) and was Director of Fidelity Bank PLC. Kanu became a top National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain and became Chairman of the coalition in 2013.
In May 2008, Kanu called for a return to true federalism in Nigeria
A pro-democracy activist, Mr Kanu was one of the notable and prominent voices in the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an organisation dedicated to the revalidation of the June 12, 1993, election of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) which was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military administration.
For his role in NADECO and constant criticisms of the military junta of the late Sani Abacha, Mr Kanu was constantly trailed by state agents.
In an interview in November 2008 he attacked what he called Unitarism, the excessive concentration of powers at the centre, and called for fundamental dialog between the different ethnic nationalities of Nigeria. He attributed the conflict in the Niger Delta to the lack of regional power. In another interview, he pinpointed the second stage of the General Ibrahim Babangida regime as the time when things started to go wrong, with increasingly centralized control.
He was among leaders who spoke in January 2010 at a Lagos rally of the Save Nigeria Group calling for Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan be made acting president during President Umaru Yar’Adua’s illness.
Kanu died in the early hours of 13 January 2021.