- Nigeria lost a great one as an African foremost inventor from Imo state, Ezekiel Izuogu, died after a brief illness
- The Imo-born manufactured Africa's first car, Z-600 in 1991 to much applause when he was still a lecturer
- President Muhammadu Buhari mourned his death as he described him as a great innovator and an important figure in the nation's political terrain
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Nigeria was thrown into great sorrow as a popular scientist, Ezekiel Izuogu of Akokwa clan in Ideato North Local Government of Imo state, died.
The popular inventor died on Saturday, July 18, after he was sick for a while as revealed by family sources, The Nation reports.
It should be noted that Izuogu once competed for the Imo state governorship election and was a BoT member of the All Progressives Party.
His invention astounds the world
He created the Z-600 in 1997 when he was a lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, making it first Africa's indigenous produced car.
“The African dream machine as 90% of its parts were sourced locally. At a projected sales cost of $2000, it would have taken the world by storm and become the cheapest and most affordable car on earth.
“With mass production planned under Izogu Motors plant in Naze Owerri, the prospects of an industrial revolution in Igbo land and Nigeria, was in the making,” the BBC described the car.
He got FG's attention but not the grant
Another thing worthy of note is that after the federal government under the late General Sani Abacha’s regime gave the car a clean bill of roadworthiness, it promised to give the inventor a grant of N235 million. The granted, however, never came.
The Nation reports that after the inventor reluctantly agreed to set up a factor in South Africa, his factory was broken into on March 11, 2006, by heavily armed men, taking away machines and the design history of Z-600 and file of Z-MASS.
The inventor expresses sadness over how Nigeria treats its own
“It is a very sad story a promising man has died without fulfilling his desire to build a vehicle made in Imo Nigeria. If you think of such a man dying at such a time without fulfilling his dream of building an Imo made car is very sad indeed," the inventor said after the robbery.
President Muhammed Buhari through Femi Adesina, his media and publicity aide, also mourned the great icon as a “trail-blazing innovator, a well-respected academic and gifted engineer” as he asked God to grants his son an eternal rest.
The president also said that the man was also a very important political figure apart from the great innovation with a recognisable leadership in the country’s political landscape.
In another story, a Nigerian lady has reportedly died a day after walking down the aisle with the love of her life.
According to a Facebook page Sapele Oghenek, the unidentified lady wedded on Saturday, July 18 and died on Sunday, July 19. YEN.com.gh notes that the deceased was sick even when she got married as drip needle could be spotted on her hand.
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