Mr Kanu, a retired rear admiral of the Nigerian Navy passed away on the 13th of January, 2021 due to a brief illness at an undisclosed hospital. Mr Kanu was also a onetime military administrator of Imo State. He died at the age of 78.
His death was confirmed by a relative, Ireke Kanu, who worked in the Ndigbo office of Kanu, in Victoria Island. Ireke said “I can tell you he passed on this morning. He was 78. We celebrated his last birthday in November 2020. I don’t have much detail. I am still in the village.”
During the early years of Mr Kanu, he fought on the side of Biafra during the civil war that lasted 1967 and 1970 but was eventually reabsorbed into the Nigerian military at the end of the war.
He was a pro-democracy activist and also one of the notable and prominent voices in the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an organization for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 election of the Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) which was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military administration.
He was among those who signed an ultimatum for the General Sani Abacha regime to revalidate Abiola’s mandate and hand over power to him, which brought about the most vicious crackdowns by a regime in peacetime Nigeria.
In reaction to his death, Lagos state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu received the news with a shock, describing him as “a great Nigerian.”
Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressive Congress, APC describes Mr Kanu as a rare breed for his singular constituency and spoke of his unwavering commitment to social justice, democracy and federalism in Nigeria. Tinubu said “I’m deeply saddened by the passing of former military administrator of Lagos and Imo Sate, Real Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu. He was my brother and a very courageous partner in the struggle for democracy and enthronement of true federalism in Nigeria.”