Late Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has urged Ndigbo, wherever they are to troop out enmasse to honour the departed Igbo leader, Nigerian statesman and former Vice President of Nigeria Dr. Alex Ekwueme at his burial at Oko on February 2, 2018.
President General of apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo made the call yesterday, while lamenting the death of Dr Ekwueme at a time his statemanly guide and advice are most needed by Ndigbo, Nigeria and Africa.
Nwodo noted that the entire NEC, Imeobi and General Assembly of the apex Igbo body will be fully on ground for the burial of the icon.
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described the late elder statesman and second republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme as God’s gift of wisdom to Nigeria.
PDP said Ekwueme’s wisdom was most displayed in 1998 when he, in coalition with other dignified democrats, formed PDP with a broad view to the party becoming Africa’s largest political party.
The party maintained that it’s formation and political domination was mostly anchored on Ekwueme’s infinite wisdom.
PDP made the remarks when its leadership led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BOT, Alhaji Wali Jibrin, among others paid a condolence visit to Ekwueme’s family in Enugu, yesterday.
Among PDP chieftains on the visit were: Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; former National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo; National vice chairman of the party for South East, Austin Umahi; Enugu State Chairman of PDP, Hon. Augustine Nnamani and other state party functionaries.
On the entourage of the PDP national delegation were the National Secretary of the party, Sen. Ibrahim Tsauri; National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd); former Minister of Aviation, Dr. Kema Chikwe; guber candidate of the PDP in the last Anambra governorship election, Dr. Oseloka Obaze; former president of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara; former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, among others.
The national chairman and his delegation, who were received by Ekwueme’s widow, Beatrice, and other family members, said the death of Dr. Ekwueme was a great loss to the party, PDP, which he founded alongside other leaders.
Secondus said “We have lost a great leader, a leader that God gave wisdom, with other leaders across this country, who put together a party that has a national representation, a party that is not sectional, a party that is for all Nigerians. It took Dr. Alex Ekwueme sleepless nights and I can recall, in 1998, he worked tirelessly, and because of the respect he and other leaders had endeared to themselves across this nation, people trooped to Abuja and they formed what today has been the biggest, strongest party in Africa.”
He further described Ekwueme as a very successful architect, who had practiced across the nation, noting that his hard work and signature could be found across the Niger, such as in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and all over the world.
“And based on his professional competence and intelligence, he was elected in the second Republic as the first civilian vice president of our country. A man who has displayed maturity, integrity and with no corruption and lived a life that today all of us are working so hard to imitate. He lived an exemplary life. He was never satisfied at any time, he went and acquired a law degree and at all times was very peaceful, a peace maker not only to where he comes from but to the people of Nigeria,” Secondus stated.
In his remarks, the BOT Chairman, Jibrin said that he came into contact with Dr. Ekwueme during his days as VP to former President Shehu Shagari, and while himself was in the Senate, describing the late leader as a man of honour and integrity worthy of emulation.
Also yesterday, the Anambra State House of Assembly called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late Second Republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme by naming an important federal institution after him.
At its plenary, the State House of Assembly paid glowing tribute to the late icon, saying that it would be proper for the Federal Government to name the Federal Polytechnic Oko, founded by Ekwueme himself after him and go ahead to upgrade the institution to a university
Speaker of the House, Mrs. Rita Maduagwu described the late Ekwueme as a leader of leaders and a politician par excellence, adding that the death of the elder statesman had robbed the state of one of its highly experienced politicians, academician, and philanthropist, who entrenched himself in the quest for good governance in the entire country.
In its resolution, the state legislature said Ekwueme was a politician of repute whose contribution was significant to the democratic tenet in the state, recalling the role he played in the emergence of the country’s six zonal structure under the present democratic dispensation and subsequently, becoming the first vice president of Nigeria.
The resolution read: “Dr. Alex Ekwueme was a leader of leaders; a politician par excellence who made significant impact in the lives of many young ones in Anambra, South East and Nigeria at large.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the state has lost one of its most experienced politicians, whose death will no doubt leave a huge vacuum in the pool of experienced politicians and democrats in our state.
“The state legislature values the invaluable contributions of Dr. Ekwueme to the development of our state and entrenchment of democratic tenets. No doubt, he will be greatly missed by all.”
“In the Anambra parliament, we offer our heart-felt condolences to the immediate family of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the people of Oko town, Anambra State with particular reference to Anambra South Senatorial District, and Nigeria as a whole.”
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by the member representing Ekwueme’s Orumba North Constituency, Chief Romanus Obi who described the late former Vice President as a true democrat, who made sacrifices for the unity of the country.
Obi stressed that immortalizing Ekwueme, would encourage other Nigerians to always render patriotic services to the country.
Others who supported the motion include Princess Nikky Ugochukwu representing Orumba South and the member representing Onitsha North 1 Constituency, Mr. Chugbo Enwezor.