Ekwueme Lived Nobly, Died In Nobility – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says former Vice President Alex Ekwueme was a great Nigerian whose life has been a life of devoted and distinguished service to his fatherland.
In a statement captioned “Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme: A Tribute”, the former president said the death of the first civilian Vice President of Nigeria was a shock and a huge loss to the country.
“In all situations, he lived nobly, and he died in nobility,” he said in the statement issued on Monday in Abeokuta by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi.
“The late Dr Ekwueme was a selfless, disciplined and patriotic Nigerian who lived a worthy and exemplary life. His demise is a loss to his family who would miss a caring patriarch, the people of Anambra State who would miss a guide and the good people of Nigeria who would miss a leader.”
Obasanjo said the death avail the elder statesman of the opportunity to acknowledge his diverse and worthy achievements in the multi-faceted endeavours, which he had undertaken in the course of a meritorious career in public and private lives.
“His irrepressible thirst for knowledge and education, which propelled his foray into many fields of intellectual pursuit and his distinguished role in the development of the architectural profession in Nigeria are shining examples to the younger generation, many of whom have, in fact, benefited from his philanthropy and goodwill.
“It cannot be gainsaid that, over the years, Dr Ekwueme had shown courage of conviction and integrity in his dealings at the pinnacle of national affairs, notably with his record of sincerity as Vice-President of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983, and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during my administration as a democratically-elected President of Nigeria.
“It would not be an exaggeration to state that with his exemplary lifestyle and commitment to noble and worthy causes, he rightly came to be regarded as one of the titans of Nigerian politics and an illustrious elder statesman.
“I had hoped he would continue to play an active role in strengthening democracy in Nigeria as well as lending his voice to the ennobling ideal of national unity; but what can we do? I would only urge that we should accept this circumstance as the unquestionable will of God who gives and takes life according to His will and wish,” Obasanjo said.
As the whole world pays tribute to Dr Ekwueme, he said he joins them in celebrating the life of “a man who raised the beacon of human struggle to lofty heights of nobility and whose life is an example of what we should all aspire for.
“His struggle and our struggles remain the same and as we all seek for answers to deal with today’s challenges.”