Clement Annie Okonkwo, a former Senator and businessman, from Anambra State as died at the age of 63.
A family source said he died in the United States, where he had been receiving treatment.
He was said to have suffered cancer of the lungs and almost died, but recovered. In April, he relapsed and had been in life support until he passed on.
A message from the family announcing the death says: “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.”
Senator Okonkwo, who hails from 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 Employent.
Okonkwo, the Agunaechemba I of Ojoto, was an entrepreneur who built a conglomerate with business interests in oil and gas, Telecommunications, Commodity Trading, Real Estate 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 23 May 1960, Chief 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 governor of Anambra in the February 2010 elections for Anambra, but lost to the incumbent, Peter Obi, who was reelected.
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.
Others include International Business Leadership Award by News Agency of Nigeria and Eminent Persons Hall of Fame Awards by Nigeria Newsworld Fame Achievers Award.