Activist, and the Executive Secretary of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Tony Uranta, is dead.
Sources close to Uranta said he fought a long battle with an undisclosed ailment.
A statement issued by his family said: “We announce the passage of Tony Uranta (TIU) at 1:32 pm. this (Wednesday) afternoon.
“Tony has gone home to rest after a long medical battle. He fought a good fight while he was here, but we believe God needs him now to continue from the other side, and to perhaps conquer on his strong belief in justice, equity, peace and unity for Nigeria. Burial will be announced by family later.”
There has been an outpouring of condolences from Prof. Pat Utomi, Olisa Agbakoba, Olawale Okunniyi, and others under the Pro National Conference Organizations and Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), on behalf of the Nigerian Civil Society Movement.
Social activists have variously eulogized “Uranta’s various contributions towards the advocacy for constitutional restructuring of Nigeria amid stiff resistance from those who benefit from the jaundice and corruptive political structure of Nigeria.”
“Our ranks have been depleted again! A good friend and great patriot of inestimable essence, Comrade Tony Uranta has gone home. Soft-spoken, great mobiliser, a highly committed pro-democracy activist, a passionate advocate of good governance he was. This is very painful and a great loss. May his soul rest well in eternal peace! May God provide his family all they require to cope with his eternal absence,” Dena Yacub, labour activist, said.
“The Lion sleeps! Good night to a great man, a champion for equity and justice. Thank you for your excellent service to the Nigerian nation,” Regina Askia, Nollywood actress, wrote.
In 2019, Uranta said he had been ill for over five months, semi-comatose and paralyzed in First Cardiologists Clinic, Ikoyi, Lagos, and expressed optimism that he would walk again.
Urana was a member of the Federal Government’s Technical Committee on Niger Delta; executive secretary, Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the executive secretary of the Nigeria National Summit Group, NNSG.
Uranta is survived by his wife, Baarong Uranta, a sports analyst with Channels Television, and numerous members of his family.