Ekwueme goes home, more tributes

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By CHUKS EZE, EMMANUEL OGOIGBE

He lives in death – DSP Ike Ekweremadu:

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in his tribute, described the late ex-Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, as a good man, who lives even in death.

“Ide is a good man; a mentor and great inspiration to all of us. He still lives even in death. We love you, Ide,” he said, in his condolence statement.

According to Ekweremadu, Nigeria, PDP and especially, the entire Igbo race, will miss the second republic politician, who died on November 19, 2017, in a London clinic, shortly after his 85th birthday celebrating.

President Nigeria never had – Chief Nduka Eya, former Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo

For former Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, “Late Dr. Alex Ekwueme is an Iroko fallen, and all the birds that used to enjoy solace under him have scattered. He was a President that Nigeria never had. The country missed having him as her leader and that is why we are still where we are today.

“Nigeria is scattered because they did not give Ekwueme the chance to show them the way. He was a politician of integrity, simplicity and sincerity. Nigeria has lost someone that she may never replace. He was a special gift to Nigeria but the country failed to make appropriate use of him,” he said.

He died honourably – Prophet Chukwuma

The General Overseer of Christ Foundation Miracle International Chapel, Lagos, Prophet Josiah Chukwuma Onuoha, also paid glowing tributes to the late politician. According to him, Ekwueme died honourably.

“Ekwueme was a good man; he loved both God and man. He was a gentleman per excellence, who did allow his credibility to be tainted in any way. He died honourably. Nobody saw him pestering politician, like most former leaders, for them to bless him. Nigerians – politicians and the rest of us – should emulate his lifestyle. He never sold his brother to make more money or to acquire more political influence. He was contented with what he had. He was the kind of leader the country needs to succeed. If our politicians could be like Ekwueme, then everything would be fine with our nation,” the Prophet concluded.

Ekwueme demise a huge loss

The demise of former vice-president Alex Ekwueme has drawn chains of reaction from elders and eminent person in Warri. Onyisi Ndigbo, Delta South and Central senatorial district, Eze Peter Chukwu described the departed icon as a reliable and forthright Nigerian.

Eze Chukwu, who was two time president Ohaneze-Ndigbo in the two district further described the Anambra-born elder statesman as one of the best vice-president Nigeria ever produce.

“By his death, Nigeria has lost a genius, refined gentleman and elder stateman whose position in the nation will be difficult to fill”, said the Onyisi Ndigbo.

On his part, the senior special adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okoloh on security, Hon. Kelly Otuedon sympathized with Nigerians, indeed the family of the deceased, on the sad loss of one of the fathers of the nation.

Hon. Otuedon who is also the chairman PDP Uvwie Local Government area of the state, lamented that Africa particularly Nigerians will forever remember Dr. Ekwueme for his gentle disposition.

“It is true that anybody that come to this life through a woman must surely die, but we take consolation for the fact that Dr. Ekwueme was a dogged fighter and a true Christian to the core”, said Hon Otuedon.

The deceased last outing in Warri was during the installation of the new Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli in 2015.

Strong pillar in national development – Yakasai

AN elder statesman in Kano, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has described the late former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as a very meticulous and hard working person who contributed a lot toward the development of the country. Yakasai made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Tuesday.

NAN recalls that Ekwueme died on Nov. 19, 2017, at a London Hospital after a brief illness and he will be buried on Friday.
Yakasai, who was a Special Adviser to President Shehu Shagari on National Assembly Matters, said the late Ekwueme was also a committed politician who believed in the unity of Nigeria.

“The late elder statesman was a principled and very intelligent person, who bagged five degrees in different fields”.
According to him, Ekwueme spearheaded the campaign for a number of issues, including zoning and rotation during the National Constitutional Conference held between 1994 and 1995.

“So, zoning and rotation was originally part of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) Programme as it was the party (NPN) that introduced the idea of zoning and rotation.

“During the conference, he (Ekwueme) articulated a number of issues which the conference eventually adopted”.
He said that Ekwueme’s connection with the NPN, gave him the opportunity to be adopted as the Chairman of G34, a group of Nigerians who eventually formed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said he was very close to late Ekwueme even when they were in Kirikiri Prison together after the military coup of 1983.
“I and the late former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, kept him (Ekwueme) company in the prison. He even requested me to teach him Hausa language”.

He said there was good understanding between them when they were in government as they used to visit each other’s families.
“We used to disagree on certain issues but we lived peacefully when we were in government,” Yakasai said.
On the state of political parties, he said disloyalty was the bane of Nigeria’s democracy, noting further that governors had hijacked their political parties in their respective States.

He, therefore, urged politicians to change the trend by being loyal to their parties in order to strengthen democracy in the country.

“Disloyalty to political parties is the bane of Nigeria’s democracy and this is a major challenge threatening the system, Yakasai said. (NAN)

Ekwueme was a bridge builder – Sen Dr and Mrs Sam Egwu

Former Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Sam Egwu and wife, in their tribute, described Ekwueme as a bridge builder and father a figure.

According to the couple who was very close to the late politician and his now, widowed wife, Beatrice, they will exceptionally miss the late Ekwueme.

“Daddy was a bridge builder, an exceptional father figure and friend of all. He never discriminated against political, religious or ethnic diversity. Nigerian and Ndigbo will truly miss him, but My family and i will miss him exceptionally.
“Rest peacefully, in God’s Bosom,” they prayed.

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