FORMAR VICE PRESIDENT ALEX EKWUEME, DIES AT 85 .

Ex-Vice President, Alex Ekwueme kicks the bucket

From ODINAKA EZEOKA.
Fomer Vice President of Nigeria, Dr.Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, is  dead. He died in London, on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at 85. His brother and traditional ruler of Oko, in Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, said the former Second Republic vice president  to former President Shehu Shagari died at 10:00pm, in a London clinic. 
“Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme…”
last month, the former architect fell down in his Enugu residence and collapsed. He was initially rushed to Memfys Neurosurgery Hospital in Enugu, where he relapsed and went into coma.
Subsequently, the Federal Government intervened and arranged for an air ambulance which ferried him to London on November 13.
Leading a deluge of tributes to him, yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari said his regular counsels on national issues and mediations, for peaceful co-existence would be sorely missed.
The president said this in his condolence message to the Government and people of Anambra State, through his  Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
He affirmed that Ekwueme’s unwavering commitment to the unity of Nigeria has been a major encouragement to many governments, and recalled the personal sacrifices he made in helping lay the foundation for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
Ekwueme’s former boss, Shagari, commiserated with Nigerians on his death.
In a condolence message he personally signed, Shagari said: “It is with a deep sense of loss that I heard about the demise of my brother and former vice president, Alex Ekwueme. On behalf of myself, I sincerely commiserate with Nigerians on his death. May his soul rest in peace.”
Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described Ekwueme’s death as a monumental loss not just to Nigeria but the entire African continent.
Dogara, in a personally signed statement, said the former vice president lived a life worthy of emulation. 
The speaker noted that “Ekwueme was a distinguished elder statesman, patriot, nationalist and a true son of Africa.”
He however, noted that the Ekwueme’s demise came at a time Africa was in dire need of patriots and leaders like Dr. Ekwueme “as it struggle with various internal conflicts and  passes through challenging pace in its history.”
Former deputy speaker, Emeka Ihedioha said he received the news of Ekwueme’s death with great pains and described him as “an accomplished and celebrated Nigerian, a humanist cum philanthropist, who lived a life of selfless and patriotic service to his fatherland. He was an embodiment of humility, simplicity and precision, Ide distinguished himself in many fields of human endeavours. 
Also, Chairman of the National Contact Committee of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Senator Roland Owie has described Ekwueme’s death as the passage of a sage.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Owie said Ekwueme’s death has closed a chapter in Nigeria’s political history. 
“Throughout the period he was in politics,  Dr. Ekwueme remained a moderating factor in our volatile polity. He was a gentleman, scholar, businessman and humanist. By his death,  Nigeria stands diminished and saddened.”
Dogara expressed condolences to the Ekwueme family, the government and people of Anambra State. 
“In times as these, elderly wisdom, experience and guidance of Dr. Ekwueme is needed by leaders at all levels so as to enable us surmount the daunting challenges confronting us as a country and as Africans.
“Dr. Ekwueme was  a philanthropist, a famous professional architect, lawyer, brilliant politician and a man of peace whose efforts in building bridges of friendship amongst the various peoples of Nigeria is legendary. 
“He played politics of ideas, principle and purpose and helped bring stability as vice president in the Second Republic.
“The late elder statesman was credited with the introduction of the famous proposals  for just and equitable power-sharing in Nigeria, based on the six geopolitical zones which  ensures a fair, just equitable and stable polity…” 
His contributions in the struggle for the  restoration  of democracy in 1999 when he mobilised the famous group of 34 eminent Nigerians who risked their lives and stood up against military dictatorship are still fresh in our minds.
“Indeed, he lived a life worthy of emulation and left an indelible mark in the annals of the history of Nigeria. He was truly a political colossus and giant whose shoes will be difficult to fill”.
“As it was said of all the saints and sages, we take solace in the fact that he has gone to rest having emptied himself while he walked the earth and served humanity even in his final hours”.
FORMAR VICE PRESIDENT ALEX EKWUEME, DIES AT 85 . FORMAR VICE PRESIDENT ALEX EKWUEME, DIES AT 85 . Reviewed by benedict odinaka on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Rating: 5

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