For the Anyiam-Osigwe family, these are not happy times. The entire family has been enveloped by a thick pall of grief since Saturday, November 29, when a prominent member of the family, Nze Michael Anyiam-Osigwe, met his untimely demise.
Until his death, the deceased was Co-ordinator General of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation and Secretary to the Supervisory Board.
His elder brother, Charles Anyiam-Osigwe, said in a statement that the family was gripped by a deep sense of sorrow at the passing on of Nze Michael. He noted, however, that the family had submitted to the will of the Almighty God who gives and recalls.”
“For us, Michael remains irreplaceable, but collectively, those of us left behind will do our very best to bridge that void which his absence no doubt now creates for us as a family and group,” he said.
Daily Sun gathered that the incident occurred on Saturday while the deceased was travelling to his hometown, Nkwerre, in Imo State, to attend a funeral. He was in company with three of his elder brothers – Charles, Anthony and Chukwuka.
An eyewitness stated: “He was in the same car with Charles and Anthony, while his eldest brother, Chukwuka was in another car with his wife. They were with three escort mobile policemen.
“Somewhere on the expressway around Okada Town, very close to Benin, they ran into armed robbers who were operating on the road. It was about 2.30pm. Their cars had got very close to the scene of the robbery before they made the discovery. Like other motorists, they all managed to escape inside the bush. The robbers were well armed and they could not be curtailed by the three policemen travelling with the Anyiam-Osigwes. But a detachment of policemen later arrived the scene and engaged the robbers. The robbers later ran away.
“The policemen later announced with their megaphone that the robbers had been sent packing, and that the road was now clear for the motorists to continue their journey. The policemen told the people to come out of the bush where they had been hiding. Michael and his brothers and others travelling with them came out and entered the car. Many of the motorists started their cars and sped off. Unfortunately, the car in which Michael and two of his brothers were riding in did not start, apparently because it had been shot and a bullet was lodged in the engine. While they were trying to understand what could be responsible, one of the armed robbers suddenly materialised and shot Michael in the chest and thigh.”
Daily Sun gathered that he was rushed to the nearest hospital around Okada town to see how he could be stabilized first. The doctor, it was learnt, made efforts to save his life, but the medical experts could not achieve much as he had been badly shot.
A member of the family told the reporter that efforts were also made to get a helicopter from Port Harcourt, adding, however, that it was already late and they were told that the captain that would have brought the chopper could not fly after 6pm
“When he stabilized a bit, he was moved to Lagos by road, with full security cover provided by the Edo State Commissioner of Police. He was brought in late Saturday to Eko Hospital and the doctors did all they could to save his life. His brother had even made an arrangement and got a private jet ready to fly him out to a hospital overseas on Sunday evening if his condition improved. Regrettably, he was confirmed dead on Sunday afternoon.”
The deceased was a very erudite scholar, thinker and businessman working within the Anyiam-Osigwe family business. He has extensive local and global connections around the world. He was a friend to a number of presidents and prime ministers, both serving and former within Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States. He was Coordinator of the annual Anyiam-Osigwe Memorial Lecture, which has featured many serving and former Heads of States as keynote speaker. He is the fifth of the Anyiam-Osigwe seven brothers. His sister is Peace Anyiam Osigwe, the founder of AMAA awards. Like other members of the popular Anyiam-Osigwe family, Nze Michael was always in white attire.
A statement issued by Charles Anyiam-Osigwe on behalf of the family reads: “With grief and a deep sense of sorrow, but with total submission to the will of the Almighty God who gives and recalls, the Anyiam-Osigwe family announces the untimely passing to eternal glory of Nze Michael Anyiam-Osigwe.
“Michael was killed at the hands of armed robbers who operated along the Ore-Benin Road near the Okada Junction in the afternoon of 29th November 2014 at about 2.30pm.
“Up until his shocking and painful demise, Nze Michael Anyiam-Osigwe was the Co-ordinator General of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation and a member of its Board of Trustees. He was also a Director of the Africa Institute for Leadership Research and Development as well as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Malawi to Nigeria. He was also the Executive Director within the Anyiam-Osigwe Consortium of Companies. He studied Economics and obtained a joint Masters Degree in Social Anthropology and Musicology from Goldsmiths College, University of London
“He is survived by his mother, Chief Dorothy C. Anyiam-Osigwe (OON), his wife, Okiemute Anyiam-Osigwe, five lovely children, six brothers and a sister, nieces and nephews and a host of other relations.
“In due course, his rights of passage would be announced by the Family. May his gentle soul rest in peace.” – Daily sun