Senator dies at 63 in the United States
Senator Annie Okonkwo, who represented Anambra Central, is dead. He was 63.
A family source said he died in the United States where he had been receiving treatment.
The source said the popular businessman suffered cancer in the lungs and almost died but recovered, adding he relapsed sometime in April and had been in life support until he passed on.
A family confirmed the development. It said in a statement:: “The entire Okonkwo family of Iruebenebe village Ojoto, announces the passing on to glory of High Chief Annie Okonkwo. Indeed, Ojoto has lost her political pillar.”
Okonkwo, a native of Iruebenebe village, Ojoto in Idemili South Local Government Area, represented Anambra Central Senatorial District from 2007 to 2011 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was succeeded by Dr Chris Ngige, former Governor of the state and immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment.
Okonkwo, the Agunaechemba I of Ojoto, was an entrepreneur who built a conglomerate with business interests in oil and gas, telecommunications, commodity trading, real rstate development, manufacturing and general commerce.
The firms include Reliance Telecoms, Clemco Industries, Modern Communications (satellite TV Network), MacClemm Marketing Communications, Sunflower Nigeria and Pentagon Oil.
Born May 23, 1960, Okonkwo obtained Advanced Diploma in Marketing and Advanced Diploma in Commercial Law and Practice all from the University of Lagos). He is also an Alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where he also got an Advanced Diploma in Management.
While in the Senate, Okonkwo was appointed to committees on Upstream Petroleum Resources, Police Affairs, Environment (where he served as vice-chairman) and Agriculture.
He contested for Governorship of Anambra in the February 2010 elections but lost to Peter Obi.
He was a recipient of many local and international awards including Dr Kwame Nkrumah Award for Excellence in Enterprise (WAIM), National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM), EMRC Euro Market Brussels Leadership Award in Recognition of exemplary leadership by Leadership Watch.
His son, Hon. Uche Okonkwo, won the Idemili North/South Federal Constituency in the 25 February general elections on the platform of Labour Party.
Okonkwo was last seen in the public when his son paid him a visit to present to him his certificate of return.